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Does your Church need Core Values?


core values

Core values. 

Oh, don’t we love them? 

We’ve done the exercises. We’ve brainstormed. We’ve written them down. We’ve even put them on pallet walls. 

But then what? 

Maybe you’ve done the exercises because someone said so, or maybe because you saw value in it. But how do we go from cute values written on a Google doc to living them out?

A core value should be so fundamental it should function like a filter. 

“Does this align with our core values?” If the answer is not a resounding yes, then it’s out.

I’m certain your church has core values and most likely they’ll have a verse associated with each. And while I don’t want to discourage you from having those, they rarely translate to how you are communicating with your audience. Mostly because they are generally too generic (redundancy for impact) or not applicable when it comes to how you communicate. 

And let’s be honest. There’s a good chance they are not top of mind when working on church communications. 

So, let’s change that, shall we?

How Many Core Values Should You Have?

I like to have 5 communication core values for churches. “But why?” — you ask. Five gives you enough variety to encompass different aspects of how you communicate without being overwhelmingly difficult to remember. 

Can you have 3 instead? Or 7? Of course. I probably wouldn’t go beyond that but the number is up to you. So, rule of thumb: between 3 and 7.

Now that we have cleared the number, let’s make sure they are simple and easy to repeat. A 10-year-old should be able to know them, understand them and repeat them easily.

Four to five words each should suffice. These should not be vision statements, but core values that should speak for themselves. 

Litmus test: can it be applied to how you communicate? If the answer is no, rethink it. 

Here’s one example:

  • Represent the love of God

  • Bless, send and equip others

  • Encourage leaders

  • Remain faithful to scripture

  • Live from purpose in community

How to Bring Your Core Values to Life

Now, let’s bring them to life! 

If you have a newsletter, build it so there is a section where the love of God is clearly represented. Maybe a reflection, devotional or simply a note from the pastor focusing on this one core value. This can also represent remaining faithful to scripture.

Below that, add a section for blessing, sending and equipping others. This could even rotate on a weekly basis where one week we focus on blessing, another on sending and another on equipping. 

End with a section about living from purpose and in community.

Encourage your leaders through a dedicated email that goes out just to leaders. 

And now these core values are alive and well. 

Take it to social media. Could you create a weekly reel where you focus on living in community? Or a behind the scenes showing how you encourage your leaders?

Questions to Ask when Creating Core Values

And if you are wondering how to create your own, here are some questions to get you started. Don’t forget to invite your team:

  • As a church what breaks your heart?

  • As a church what gets you excited?

  • How do you want to be perceived in your community?

  • What is your church fighting for or against?

These questions should bring to the surface clarity about what’s your essence as a church and that’s where your core values flow from. 

What do you think? Share your ideas below or on social media.

Through the Digital Church Network we are helping physical and digital churches better understand the discipleship process, and helping churches and church planters understand this and other decentralized mindset shifts. Joining the DCN is free and be encouraged! 

Looking for a Coach or Guide to help you with social media and other digital ministry tools, take this quick survey and connect  today. 


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About Author

Barbara Carneiro
Barbara Carneiro

Barbara is a church communications consultant, mentor and branding strategist. She is the founder of Word Revolution (a communication and branding agency for Christian ministries), the brain behind The Church Communicator Bootcamp (a training cohort for accidental church communicators - and the creator of the Church Communicator Conference - She a curious strategist, serial entrepreneur, storyteller and geek.

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