This is my final semester at seminary working on my master of divinity. When thinking of what to write for "V" I remembered one of the classes I took my first semester in seminary. The class was called "Leadership in Ministry," and its focus was to help us become more aware of our own strengths and weaknesses and goals as leaders in the Church. One of the assignments was to write out a statement of our personal core values; we were to choose four. Here is what I wrote:
The following are four of my personal core values which I intend to implement and promote through my ministry:
Education: I think a lot of evil can be attributed to ignorance. In ministry I will push both general education for the community(ies) in which I serve, and discipleship within the church(es) I pastor (or wherein I otherwise lead).
Wisdom: Ecclesiastes 9:17 (KJV) says, “The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.” Sometimes we must learn to close our mouths and listen to what others have to say (or even what God has to say). We should not be quick to jump into decisions or reactions.
Integrity: I’m learning lately that I lack a lot in this area. But it is important to me – I don’t believe one can minister effectively unless he or she is a person of integrity.
Mercy: People fail. I have failed. I have needed mercy; luckily, I have also received it. I hope to show the same mercy to fellow men and women of God around me in times of weakness when they need another to come alongside them and “restore” them (see Galatians 6:1-3).
As I read over them tonight, I realized my core values have not changed over the last five years (perhaps they might not be listed in order of priority, but I don't know if they were then, either). If I were to add a value to that list, it would be "Diversity": I think it is immensely important to respect and learn from viewpoints that vary from my own.
Regardless what role I play in life, as a leader or a follower or something in between, I hope I live out these values and that others around me can tell.
What are your core values?