Last August our elders spent a weekend away praying and prayerfully considering the present and future of our church. We wanted the opportunity to “take the pulse” of our ministries, but we also wanted a chance to dream about what the ministry here could and should look like in order to glorify God and share Him with others.
Out of that fruitful weekend came an impulse to define some of our core values—aspects of the ministry that we hold to be essential, guides and goals by which we could measure the effectiveness of our ministry. In other words, if at the end of each ministry year we had a list of things with which we could spend some time evaluating ourselves and asking “On a scale of 1-10, how well did we do with ___”, these are the top items that list would include.
I want to share them with you here, knowing that these are still a work in progress, and inviting your feedback and insights. Be careful as you read them that you don’t find yourself thinking, “Oh, well that should be an obvious one” or “Why is that on there? We already do that so well.” Take prayer, for instance. You could say that we value prayer. All of our Sunday School classes begin and end in a time of prayer, as do our small groups. Our worship service is woven together with prayer. However, would a visitor come to Hilltown for two or three weeks and think to themselves, “Wow. These people value prayer!”? I’m not sure they would. Lord willing, these are things the leadership values that, in time, you and I will value as individuals as well. And these are things that will fuel and steer this ministry moving forward. Tell me what you think:
Authentic Community: Loving one another selflessly and sharing with one another honestly, humbly admitting our brokenness and trusting others with ourselves (JN 13:34-35)
Intentional Outreach: Loving our neighbor in a way that draws them closer and closer to Christ, serving our community for their good and God’s glory (MATT 22:35-40)
Multiplying Discipleship: Cultivating a faith that values Christ above all and multiplies itself, making disciples who make disciples who make disciples… (MATT 28:18-20)
Servant Leadership: Leadership that serves the saints, equips the saints, and multiplies leadership among the saints (I PETER 5:1-5, EPH 4:12) It’s my prayer that these values become the define and shape the ethos not only of our church family, but of us as individuals well. It will be an exciting season of allowing God to shape our faith and our mission to reach those in our spheres of influence.