The Importance of Values in Shaping the Culture of Your Church

Four Values and Four Principles

1) God values people. He values them so much He would leave the 99 who are safe and healthy to go after a single one who is lost.

2) Clearly, Jesus is the Father’s highest value. Sending Christ to us was His way of telling us we are valuable—so valuable that He gave us what was most valuable to Him.

3) God also values ministry. Jesus says that the Father was like a man who found a treasure in a field. Because He so valued it, He sold everything He had so He could buy the field. In the same chapter, Jesus says that the field in this parable was the world. (See Matt. 13:44.) We see how God values ministry to a lost and dying world.

4) Finally, God values the passing of each day. To Him, each day is an invitation to receive His forgiveness and mercy. His mercies are indeed new every morning. Each day is an opportunity to repent from one’s wayward ways and turn to God and become His follower.

Church leaders who are clear about what God values can then apply the following corresponding principles to make disciples.

  •  Because people are valuable, we must engage them with the intent of leading them to Christ.
  •  Because Jesus is most valuable, we must then establish the foundation of Christ in people’s hearts.
  •  Because ministry is valuable, we must equip all believers to minister.

And because every day is a valuable opportunity to reach people with the gospel, we must empower all believers to go and make disciples.

Structure Follows Culture

Knowing that creating a discipleship culture is and should be our church’s first priority, it’s vital to understand that structure follows culture. You could say that culture is the wine, and structure is the wineskin. Or that culture is the electricity and structure is the wires and cables the electricity flows through so that it functions effectively and efficiently. Structure allows the culture to be reproduced. This is where organization, systems and processes come in; they work together to achieve the values.

When I start to really examine our church and how it functions, I’m always intrigued by how we’ve managed to build a culture that led to the principles of discipleship, which in turn have become the very same process we focus on as we make disciples. Our members clearly know that 1) we must all engage our families and friends with the intent of making them followers of Christ; 2) we must establish them in the foundation of Christ; 3) we have designed training and equipping programs to make them confident and competent as ministers; 4) they are empowered as the Holy Spirit works in their lives to go and make disciples each and every day.

It is my hope and prayer that these ideas will inspire all of us to evaluate our churches, define our values and build churches based on a culture of discipleship.

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Joey Bonifacio

Joey Bonifacio

Joey Bonifacio is Director for Asia of  Every Nation Ministries. Every Nation is a worldwide family of churches and ministries that exists to Honor God by planting Christ-centered, Spirit empowered, socially responsible churches and campus ministries in every nation. He is a member of the team that oversees  Victory, a local church in Manila and a movement of churches in the Philippines and the Senior Pastor of Victory Fort at Bonifacio Global City. He is Chairman of the Real Life Foundation, a Philippine based NGO that provides educational scholarship to the underprivileged. He is happily married to Marie for 30 years now and has three adult sons, Joseph who is married to Carla, David and Joshua. And adopted a cute little dog named  Vito.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright
comment_post_ID); ?> "While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
— Ken

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