The Lift Project: Shaping Culture: What Drives Behavior Values or Vision?

So what drives behavior in your church culture — values or vision? Week 2 of  Shaping Culture as part of the LIFT project has led to digging into that question and what that means for ministry.

Video 1 this week was a clip from Bill Hybels Summit talk on vision, “Moving people from here to there”. Before a leader describes what “there” is, he must describe why we can’t stay here any longer. Default mode for most people is they like to stay “here”, that’s why they stayed, that’s where they connected, it’s what they prefer.

Vision is often described as painting a picture of preferred future. But to get people from here to there, you start with how awful here is if we stay before you describe how wonderful there is.

(So are you thinking vision drives behavior since I started with Bill Hybels on Vision? Keep reading!)

Video 2 this week was Mac Lake on Culture and Values. Mac says, “Leaders often focus on vision, not realizing that the shared values of an organization are what motivates people and drives their behavior. Values that are not shared by the team or demonstrated by the leader will not bring the driving factors behind the culture.”

Part of that driving factor for values or vision for that matter is not just the words we say, but even more the words we live. Values that drive behavior flow from one’s heart more then from one’s latest handout. It’s nice when the values we write out, we also live out. But if choosing between the two that people will epitomize they go more by what one’s does then what one says.

Realignment in values that drive behavior is to bring what I say and what I do together, even more it is to bring together what we say and what we do together.

Video 3: Jarrett and Jeanne Stevens on when they planted soul care church they had to work through the ministry values they had collected over the years from Willow, from Northpointe, from life. What helped them to narrow the list from the 46 they brainstormed was the value clarifications exercise the house is on fire, you can only take 8 values, what are they?

As they say, “When you say yes to your values, you also say no to others.”

In addition to the 3 videos this week was a great article by Nancy Ortberg on how to avoid the 5 most common dysfunctions of a ministry team. The idea flows from Patrick Lencioni’s book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. Nancy takes Patrick business model, and looks at from a church ministry point of view. Having both read Lencioni’s book and heard him speak about this at a previous summit as well as work through the material with my leadership team, one of the five was planted deep with in my leadership: “Step into the conflict.”

Most dysfunctional teams/ministries avoid conflict at all costs. Functional ones step into the conflict. When I know there is conflict ahead I have two mantras, “Step into the conflict” and “Holy Spirit help me!” That value the last few years has helped drive the behavior that accomplishes the vision God has for my church.

This week’s class as well as last week’s has left much to chew on. This fall one exercise I want to take our administrative staff through is to look at core values that we each follow and to see how they align with what we do, who we are, what we say, and how we serve. I want to see the alignment or misalignment we have and how that is influencing ministry. What are common themes the Holy Spirit is speaking into our hearts and wants to speak through our lives.

How about you what values drive your life? How are they leading to specific behavior? By the way, what drives your behavior values or vision?


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