this past year in my youth ministry coaching program, i have gotten more and more adamant about the role of values in leadership. it’s not like this is a new idea in the least. and i’ve been talking and blogging about it for years. but i’ve refined my thinking, and it slowly became the central teaching/coaching component of the ymcp. for the first cohort, their final project involved articulating in written form both personal and professional values. (for an example of this, here are joel mayward’s personal and professional values.)
another ymcper, brian berry, recently sent me the link to this video, which has so much to say about the role of values (even though the video never once uses that word). you will not, i promise, regret the couple minutes you spend watching this video (in fact, hundreds of you will be repurposing it for youth group within a week):
so. i’ve got a challenging decision on my plate, one with vocational implications. i spent a couple days in the desert last week, seeking god. and, at one point i thought to myself, “you idiot. you made everyone else write out their core values, but you’ve never written out your own!” duh. admitadly, seperating personal and professional values is a false dichotomy (i wanted my ymcpers to think about the two spheres and what might be similar or different). but, i chose to create one list, more along the lines of “personal values that have vocational implications.”
here’s what i came up with (btw: i considered this a process of spiritual discernment, not an exercise in brainstorming):
• My family comes first. Without meaningful connection to them, I’m useless for anything else.
• Personal growth and transformation is the best life. I want the ‘fullness of life’ that Jesus promises in John 10:10, not the life of a cog, a maintainer, or a yes-man.
• I want to change the world. I believe in my gut that I am invited into the ongoing restoration work of Christ in the world, and I want to actively participate in that Kingdom work.
• I love the church, and want to see her change. I believe that, through Christ, the church is God’s plan for the world. We are the equipment. Let’s stop wasting time and get to it.
• I want to lead collaboratively. Powerless leadership is both biblical and more effective. Nurturing a culture of team, empowerment, collaboration, and risk are core to how I aspire to lead.
• Change is non-negotiable. Upheaval, starting new things, risk and failure are all necessary and good, both for the organization I’m a part of and for my own level of thriving.
• Uniqueness is better than conformity. Honoring and celebrating initiative and unique gifting, in alignment with the values of the whole, creates excellence and life. Conformity only leads to death.