A few minutes in a room with this team and you can tell they have something special going on. The group made up of Hispanic and non-Hispanic persons, enjoys each other and the common purpose that brings them together. They’re not afraid to speak to the challenges that face them in their mission to reach their diverse community for Jesus Christ. They are taking action, which reflects the heart beat of their team: their core values.
Holton Evangel’s associate pastor, Hector Sanchez, charged with leading the new Hispanic church plant “Nueva Vida” (New Life), puts it this way, “With support and expectations of others, including peers, community and the annual conference we feel the burden to minister in an efficient manner. With blessing comes responsibility. This responsibility should be shared as a team. Diversity demands increased clarity. Identifying and living our core values helps us land on a shared understanding and focus as a team.”
In a consensus workshop process in 2013 the team identified five unique principles that help them understand who they are and how they will prioritize their ministry efforts. Those core values are: 1. Share God’s Love With All, 2. Respect & Unity, 3. Trust Through Advocacy,
4. Compassionate Service and 5. Make Sure It’s Fun.
Hector, commenting on the diversity of language and culture that makes up their ministry team, shares, “We look and talk different, but we serve the same God. As we grow as a team, we create a space of love and understanding for newcomers. This is an internal process first, then external. We are establishing our DNA — our core values. As persons come in contact with us through the services we provide, they can sense that this is the work of a team, not just the work of the pastor.”
Needed wisdom to pursue a divine vision is found in a working team. In order to bring that wisdom to light, a process for conversation is needed. If you and your ministry team are working for clarity around your purpose and identity, we would love to help. Feel free to contact Pastor Hector Sanchez (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), or your Congregational Excellence team in the Wichita conference office.
Jennifer Pappas, chair of the “Nueva Vida” ministry team, shares these words of encouragement for others, “Be open to the different ideas and voices around the table. Often times the team members that take the most initiative are those that you would least expect. But, when their heart sings, others will be inspired. Be flexible. Have fun. Allow what seem to be “unusual” ideas to challenge the group.”
For starters, set aside time at your next scheduled gathering for a focused conversation;
Who are we as a team? What are some words that describe our context?
Why was this team formed? What is the purpose that this group exists to pursue?
What are some examples of actions that this team is taking to fulfill its purpose?
What are the core values, principles, beliefs that our team must have and live by in order to pursue our purpose effectively?