Three reasons cultivating values is worth the hard work

Posted by Boyd Pelley on 4/30/24 2:00 PM
Boyd Pelley
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Businessman planting seedValues-building in an organization is hard work.  I'm not talking about the work of writing something down for a business plan.  Nor the work of an executive team on a retreat wrestling over what is most important.  The result of this kind of work is a set of aspirational values.  These are just seeds.  

I'm talking about the hard work of cultivating, planting, watering, fertilizing, weeding, and protecting these seeds.  There's no shortcut for this work.  It takes time for values to put down roots, sprout, mature, and bear fruit.  

All organizations are driven by values whether they were intentionally planted or not.  Over time a certain way of doing things becomes the accepted norm.  It's going to happen anyway, so why take the time and effort to think about and work on values?

Here are three reasons it is important to do the hard work of cultivating values.

1.  Values call you to be All-In. 

Matthew 6:24 says, "No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God & money."     

When I transitioned from ministry to business full time, I sincerely wondered if business required making money the goal of my work efforts.  After all, we had incorporated as a for profit business and I wanted to be faithful to that commitment.   

However, I knew from this verse that you couldn't serve both God and money.  One has to take priority.  I knew christian businessmen for whom christian seemed to be more of an adjective describing them than a noun identifying them. 

For decades I had cultivated the value of making Christ first in my life.  He is the noun, everything else in my life is an adjective.   Wrestling with that value called me to be all-in on cultivating a For-Him more than a For-Profit business.  

2.  Values lead to better decision-making. 

Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."   

Almost everyone wants to make the best decisions they can.  And the very best decisions are the ones that align with design.  Things just work better when you find and follow the perfect path of God's will.

Values start as seeds that refine our thinking.  They sprout when they determine the actions we take.  They blossom when they become a pattern for guiding our choices.  They bear fruit when everyone around, client and coworker, sees their influence.  

3.  Values create a safe place for fearless relationships. 

Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law."     

Laws exist to guide how we interact with each other and to assure our safety.  But the values which flow from the well of God in us, the Holy Spirit, are so much better than the law.  Law is the low bar.  Values are the high bar. 

There's no need for law when there is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. The environment where these guide relationships and decisions is a safe environment where people can live and work without fear.  In this environment people look out for each other.  They own their mistakes.  And, they are celebrated when they do both.

Mark and I started building Churchteams almost 25 years ago.  We have been very intentional along the way to build both a work environment and customer relationships around God-honoring values. 

At times weeds have crept in.  But, by God's grace even the process of pulling weeds serves to strengthen our values.  May our developing story be an encouragement to you as you do the hard work of cultivating values. 

Tags: Best Practices

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