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Values – rubber and the road

11 March 2024

I occupy two worlds. One is the Papanui Baptist Church world. Pastoral ministry, management, networking, planning, preaching, prayer worship leading, team leadership, Freedom trust. The other is the world of development where I am contracted by international organisations to design programs and help build and strengthen organisations and faith-based communities. One of my convictions (confirmed by extensive research) is that healthy churches and organisations have a bigger and better impact. I am so convinced by that I have spent four years researching and designing an organisation assessment tool to help them understand their health – at low cost.

Here's something I have learnt.  At the core of every organisation or church or family is a culture. A culture that is made up of beliefs, values, and personal character. This is the heart. This is where the life (or lack of life) stems from.

But here’s another observation.  I have found that what people say they value and believe (quite convincingly) often doesn’t work out to be true when rubber meets the road.  It turns out that those values and beliefs are expendable or adaptable when it becomes inconvenient, or it hurts, or the benefit to us isn’t there.

Here at Papanui Baptist, we say our values are that ‘we follow Jesus’ and that ‘we are people who pray’ and ‘we are generous and caring’ and ‘we walk together in unity’ and that we are ‘faithful guardians’.  But what about when following Jesus hurts. Or prayer comes at the expense of time doing something else, or being generous and caring isn’t convenient….

Values can only be called values if we stick to them – even if it hurts or means sacrifice. We want to be a ‘vibrant, growing family of faith participating with Christ to transform lives and communities’.  Are we prepared to do the mahi (work) to get there?


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144 Sawyers Arms Road
Christchurch, New Zealand

+64 3 352 4227

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