When I was in the interview process before coming to Shady Oaks, I was asked about my agreement with the core values of the church. When asked, I had looked at them and did not see anything that would create any problems or struggles with me except a need to see a stronger desire for discipleship. Every church should have God, Jesus, and the Bible as core values that should not have to be written out for everyone to see. However, a church should absolutely have values that are core to what they do and believe. Unfortunately, many church staffs go to the trouble of coming up with new core values that best describe who they are and what they do, and the congregation is minimally involved and then they are told that these are the church’s core values. They are probably presented as part of a sermon series, and probably displayed throughout the church for people to see on a regular basis. Well, here at Shady Oaks, I am not sure that I could find fifteen people that could tell me what the four core values of Shady Oaks are. They were part of a sermon series in 2018 or 2019, they are kept in a brochure in our information central but are they really what the church holds as core values. For me, these values need to become core values or they need to change.
John Maxwell says that “core values are the deeply held beliefs that authentically describe your soul.” What we value shapes our behavior and creates a culture that reflects the core values. I want that to be true for us, or we need to throw them away and find things that we truly value. I think the four core values that Shady Oaks has are values that will make us better. Connecting Generations, Strengthening Relationships, Working Together, and Transforming Communities are values that I want our staff to embrace and live out as we plan and operate through 2022. This Sunday, these core values will be re-introduced and Lord willing with become values that everyone knows and believes in. The rest of this month’s blogs will be focused on these four core values and the challenges they present us in 2022.