Here’s a little test I’ve developed for determining real ministry values: resource allocation reveals values. So, your church might say, “we have a high value on our youth worker building meaningful relationships with teenagers.” But if your resources of time, money, energy, focus, creativity, people and space are dominantly used for prop up a Christian-y social club for teenagers with the measuring stick of how many are coming, or how many don’t leave and not return, then that value is suspicious. If you say, “I value fostering a community of safety and trust, where teenagers and express and process doubts,” but you spend the bulk of your time and energy planning programs…well…you get the point.
4 thoughts on “FRIDAY NUGGET: resource allocation reveals values”
“….For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I think that you can reasonably claim a sound theoretical (and theological) basis for your test.
Had this argument for years in my last ministry. Youth Ministry identified year after year as a top priority. I was reduced from FT to 80% of FT and my budget went down every single year. Had a financial person who saw no conflict between “youth ministry is a priority” and “youth ministry should be self supporting”. Don’t work there any more…
this is true for most of us.
the real problem is most people are completely unaware of what really motivates them in an organization.
Argyris calls this the “Espoused theory” and the “Theory in Use”.
That is to say, what we say our values are, and what my actions say my values are.
it requires asking yourself and the collective asking questions about what motivations govern how we decide our values.
Oh, have I been there. Was told that Youth Ministry was well resourced. We did have a large budget, but had to raise 2/3 of it through fund raising. Entire facility went through a several million dollar renovation every part of the facility, except the Youth facility. We had to make do with smelly carpet and an old heating and cooling system that worked sporadically. Then had to live in the shadow of a state of the art children’s ministry. Thankfully I don’t work there any more either.