Now, don’t misread my enthusiasm for pride. We’re not the most gifted musicians, and we are certainly not mighty in number or prolific as songwriters, influencing the global Church for Jesus. There are better sounding teams, bigger teams, better-known teams. But you’d be hard pressed to find a TEAM with as much love for each other and sense of SHARED PURPOSE. I love these people like family, and I trust them. We depend on each other, and I believe we are living out Philippians 2…
…make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose…
When I reflect on why this bunch of friends works and ministers together so well, I think it has much to do with that Philippians 2 spirit. We know what we are called to do. Everyone is on the same page. We don’t wrestle with multiple philosophies and competing values, because we have spelled out our purpose and our values explicitly, and we agree on them as a Team. It’s true that we value excellence in our music and our art, but more importantly, we are all focused on the same audience of One when we lead together.
Here’s a question for those of you in Worship Ministry: Has your team written down your core values and your purpose as a team? If not, why not?
Carefully crafting a clear purpose statement and core values has some MAJOR LEAGUE advantages:
(1) Unified language brings clarity to vision. When leaders do the hard work of carefully word-smithing a purpose statement that is both clear and simple, the whole organization can align themselves with that vision much more efficiently. Greater alignment to the vision means more synergy, and the team is able to be more effective. (Insert standard disclaimer here about the reality that God alone is responsible for any lasting change in a person’s spiritual condition…)
(2) Shared expectations leads to greater accountability. My greatest sin as a leader is my adrenaline addiction. It leads me to rush everywhere and show up a few minutes late to everything. Rehearsals included. I don’t let myself off the hook for it. I choose the uncomfortable tension of constantly restating the standard and apologizing to the team every time I am late, rather than accepting a “well, it doesn’t really matter – that’s just the way we operate” mentality that would allow me to comfortably continue to waste my friends’ valuable time. And here’s the beauty of shared expectations… NO ONE has to be the bad guy. No one on the team has to pull me aside and give me the talk about how I need to shape up. I know I need to be on time. The team knows we all need to be on time. We value each other and respect each other. And the VALUES we have agreed upon speak for themselves.
Leaders, when you have a team member who is not consistently living out your Team’s values, it is a huge advantage to have looked at those values together before they serve. That way, your correction (as you speak the truth in love) to them does not need to come from you personally, so much as it is a discussion about the VALUES you share as Teammates. This has been a monumentally effective tool for me as a leader over the years.
3) Simplicity = Unity. Simplifying your purpose and values leads to greater clarity, which leads to greater understanding, which leads to greater unity. Distilling what really matters most down to bite-sized bullet points for your Team CLARIFIES and HIGHLIGHTS the Biblical principles that undergird what you do. While God says that ALL scripture is God breathed and profitable for teaching, it is obviously not possible (or necessary) to remember ALL scripture at ALL times. Bullet points are memorable. Bullet points bring focus. At Living Hope, all of our core values are derived from Scripture, and we have tied one verse to each value. Our purpose statement is one sentence. Simple. Memorable. Unifying.
I’ve listed three advantages of taking the time to write out and agree upon your Team’s purpose core values, but there are many more. If you haven’t started the hard work of crafting these together as a Team, I encourage you to start. It will take time. Maybe months. That’s OK – the results are worth it. So order some pizza and have a good time with it. Bring your Bibles and your white boards and your yellow legal pads. YOU will need to work these out for your own team, because your church environment, your goals as a team, and your leadership style are unique to you. Below you’ll see our purpose and core values, but it is worth it to craft your own. Do the hard work.
As an example, here are the Living Hope Worship and Arts Ministry purpose and core values:
Ministry Purpose (why we exist) >> To model and facilitate deeply significant worship expressions that result in transformed lives.
Ministry Values (what guides us) >>
1. We value GOD’S REPUTATION above everything else.
“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – I Corinthians 10:31
2. We value FREEDOM in expressing our love to God.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – II Corinthians 3:17
3. We value the authority and power of BIBLICAL TRUTH to change lives.
“…true worshippers will worship in spirit and in truth…” – John 4:23
4. We value AUTHENTICITY, HUMILITY, and INTEGRITY as reflections of spiritual maturity.
“…offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God…” – Romans 12:1
5. We value honest RELATIONSHIPS within the community, the church, and the Team.
“…being like minded… one in spirit and purpose.” – Philippians 2:2
6. We value artistic EXCELLENCE for the glory of God.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart…” – Colossians 3:23
Does your Worship Ministry Team have a clear purpose and clearly stated values? Has it made a difference in the way your Team serves the church?
“worship ministry team values :: we’ve got spirit, yes we do” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.