Johnny Verhovek on Twitter: "Biden addressing the congregation at ...

Church congregations operate most effectively when they are governed by directives derived from the Bible. Core values are the priorities of the church which unite, build, strengthen and enhance a congregation to achieve its God given calling. To discern what core values are most important to any given congregation, including, a careful study of Scripture is warranted. Then the decision makers of the congregation can put those pillars in place to guide and direct the daily course of the body.

As Jesus states in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” This is an overarching truth that surmounts even core values. This is the goal of every person that they will know Jesus and follow Him and Him alone. The core values help a church congregation to remember these rich truths of the Bible and cling to God’s vision for His church.

No human striving can get a person to the end goal, only faith in the Lord; however, the Lord holds important actions, deeds and outward signs of a saved person. James 2:17 says, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” According to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ. Never has a body disconnected from its head been able to accomplish anything. A congregation according to 1 Cor 2:16 has “the mind of Christ.” Lining out core values can establish for a church what those marching orders are from the headship of Christ on down to every member of the body.

What are examples of core values? They are the pillars of the church congregation. They can include things like generosity, service, encouragement, worship, fellowship, etc. These are ideas put into action in a way to describe what the church is all about. When they are written down by the church leaders and shared with the congregation they become the pillars to guide so that congregants are not led astray down a wayward path. They are imperatives set apart which provide structure to the congregation and allow for a measuring board to test against. “Is this ministry congruent with the core values of”

Furthermore, when core values are enumerated and communicated, they can help outsiders to know if they would fit into the church culture. They stand out in written form as what is most important to a congregation. The core values can motivate current members to hold fast to the practices most prized by Scripture and upheld by the church as vital. Just like pillars on a building can hold up a roof and keep it from collapsing, core values can hold the congregation to a Biblical standard and to accountability in every ministry. They can ensure a strong framework which is not easily toppled by the changing winds of culture. They can also be the very immovable stones that shape a congregation’s growth and allow members not to be confused or discouraged as new ministry ideas are presented and changes are inevitably made. As John C. Maxwell has stated, “Failed plans should not be interpreted as a failed vision. Visions don’t change, they are only refined. Plans rarely stay the same, and are scrapped or adjusted as needed. Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plan.” This sums up the importance of having the framework or core values of a congregation in place.