John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Core Values

I do a lot of work with churches -- helping them figure out how to be more strategic. But if you look at my own track record of decision-making, it appears more random than methodical. I'm trying to fix that lately, and my wife has been helping me choose how to choose with a little more intentionality. One of the things I frequently tell churches is that they have core values in conflict. For example, a church may be committed to reaching lost people. It may also be committed to honoring and preserving its heritage. It is possible to do a lot of ministry and maintain both of those core values without any conflict. However, there will probably come a time when push comes to shove and one of those will win out. I'm not saying one is more valuable than the other (I have thoughts about that, but that's not what I'm talking about now); I am merely saying that one core value is weightier than the other.

If you don't state that as explicitly as possible, you set others in your organization up for confusion and frustration.

As Jill and I have sought to make decisions over the years, we have frequently found ourselves at an impasse. It took me the longest time to realize that this was our problem: we had core values in conflict. Naming those core values (family stability, financial security, healthy friendships, meaningful work, long-term influence) and then rank-ordering them is helping us make decisions with less fear and more focus.

How could that help a church?