The staff has been working through Patrick Lencioni’s book The Advantage. Our regional minister to the Classis, John Sikkink, recommended we use it as a tool to assess the organizational health of ARC.

In last week’s article I introduced Discipline 2: Create Clarity. Creating clarity is all about achieving alignment so as to minimize any possibility of confusion or disorder that might negatively impact our ministry. Lencioni would go on to suggest if leaders are going to bring clarity to their organization, then they must agree on the answer to these six questions: Why do we exist? How do we behave? What do we do? How will we succeed? What is most important, right now? And, who must do what?

Last week I shared that the reason we exist is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. This week I would like to begin addressing the second question, how do we behave? Basically Lencioni would say that an organization’s behavior flows from its values, whether good or bad. So what are some values of ARC? Lencioni suggests dividing our values into the following four categories: Core Values, Aspirational Values, Permission-to-Play Values and Accidental Values.

For the remainder of this article we will look at our permission-to-play and accidental values, then next week I will share more about what the staff perceives as our Core and Aspirational Values.

First, permission-to-play values are the minimum behavioral standards that are required in any organization. Although extremely important, permission-to-play values don’t serve to clearly define or differentiate one ministry from another. Below is a partial list of extremely important values we find in Scripture that define the behavior of those who follow Jesus. (I would love to hear from you in regards to additional words we could add).

Passionate Intimacy Radical Transparent Grace Humility

Undignified Boldly Truth Integrity Sacrifice Fruit of the Spirit

Submission Committed Respect

When I reflect on these values, I get excited to think what God could do through ARC as each person grows in displaying these values as an apprentice of Jesus.

Secondly, accidental values are the traits that are evident in an organization but have come about unintentionally and don’t necessarily serve the good of the organizations. In many ministries, behavioral tendencies develop over time simply because the history of the people shares similar backgrounds. One day everyone looks around and realizes that we all look, sound, and act the same. Lencioni would caution leaders to guard against accidental values taking root because they can prevent new ideas or people from flourishing in an organization. Below is a partial list of accidental values that the staff has come up with.

Middle Class Pretense Hard working Safety Caucasian Entitlement Stoic Convenience Reformed Structured Comfort

When I think of these accidental values, they remind me of characteristics valued by the Pharisees. Maybe nothing wrong with the value, but because of how it was abused, it actually hindered the kingdom of God. And sad to say some of those values reveal the Pharisee in me. (Again, share what you perceive as accidental values).

You may be wondering, so what’s the advantage of identifying all these different types of values. The advantage is that we have a greater awareness of how our behavior affects our impact and effectiveness in the kingdom of God. As we allow godly values to penetrate our hearts, we become more like Jesus.

And finally as an advanced notice, the Consistory and Staff would like hear your thoughts; therefore we are inviting you to join us in this conversation on Tuesday evening July 16 at 7:00 PM.

Soli Deo gloria, Mike

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