There is an airline I appreciate because they have, as part of their corporate Core Values, the value of HUMOR. This value is so important that it is actually part of the performance review process from the person at the top of the corporation to every other employee.
I remember getting on a plane and as we pushed away from the gate the flight attendant ask if the people going to Burbank would raise their hands. Now we were all on the plane and the plane had left the gate, yet we were all dutiful and raised our hands. (Was there actually someone who had gotten on the wrong plane?) The flight attendant then asked us to, “wave bye-bye to Phoenix.” Groans and laughter filled the plane.
Core Values guide our behavior. As disciples of Christ, what would you list as values that are important enough to be at the core of your actions?
At the 2017 Session of the Desert Southwest Conference we affirmed this Vision Statement: God is calling us to be a Courageous Church: Loving like Jesus, Acting for Justice, United in Hope. The vision empowers us to impact our communities in ways that are expressions of love, that work for justice and unite people in hope.
At Annual Conference we also affirmed Core Values that embrace Biblical teaching and give us a way of living and working together for a greater common good. Just as humor is still a part of every Southwest Flight, the core values for our Conference will guide the practical, day to day work that we are called to do.
|Trust –||We believe in God’s love and work among us, confidently relying on God and one another.|
|We see the image of God in all of creation, expressing the depth of love Jesus shared with the world.|
|We build grace-filled relationships with our neighbors–becoming involved, serving with, and creating new ministry partnerships–acknowledging we exist for more than just ourselves.|
|We live into our identity as followers of Jesus while upholding the diverse expression of God’s calling in each ministry setting.|
|Boldness –||We take risks to follow where Christ leads us.|
|Collaboration –||We share learning together and beyond ourselves, relying on one another’s strength, abilities, resources, and courage.|
Could you imagine that as disciples of Jesus Christ you had an annual discipleship performance review? Are you building trust in your words and actions? Is compassion present in what you do? Does what you do grow from a sense of authenticity which honors the unique setting of your congregation? Are you taking bold steps of faith to follow Jesus, steps that may lead you away from your comfort zone? Finally, do you build up the work of Christ by establishing, strengthening collaboration with other churches or with groups in your community? Go ahead – do a self-assessment on your behaviors. Do you rate high or low?
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement wrote these words, “I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God’s creational intentions.”
Our Values, drawn from scripture, empower each one of us, every single congregation, to live and work together in ways that encourage Wesley’s prayer to become reality in our time.
This is what we ask of you today: print the Core Values for our Conference and place them where you will see them daily. Ask God to help you live the values in all that you do. As you study the Bible look for how these values are found in the behaviors of the heroes/heroines of faith.
Live Our Values, my friend, that others may know what makes the Desert Southwest Conference a unique and powerful instrument of God’s presence and power.