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April 14th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

22 comments (+ Add)

The Code: Reworking our Values

Pastor Steven Furtick sent me an interesting book called The Orange Code, How ING Direct Succeeded by Being a Rebel with a Cause.

The book shows clearly how to connect emotion and passion to your values. After visiting Elevation Church, I saw Pastor Steven’s version of the Code (or the values) for Elevation Church. He inspired me to rework our values and connect them more directly with our cause.

I’ll share with you a few of them a day throughout this week.

1)    We are faith-filled, big thinking, bet-the-farm risk takers. We’ll never insult God with small thinking and safe living.

2)    We are all about the “capital C” Church! The local church is the hope of the world and we know we can accomplish infinitely more together than apart.

3)    We are spiritual contributors not spiritual consumers. The church does not exist for us. We are the church and we exist for the world.

4)    We give up things we love for things we love even more. It’s an honor to sacrifice for Christ and His church.

5)    We wholeheartedly reject the label mega-church. We are a micro-church with a mega-vision.

How often do you revisit the values for your church?

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there are a total of22
  1. Apr 14, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Wow.. those are inspirational values! Many churches probably scratch their heads and as “what are values?” and probably “is it time to revisit our values?”

    3 years ago I was challenged to develop my own set of core values. I’ve done this before, but this post is definitely a reminder to revisit these personally for me and my family.

    Does anyone else have written “core values” for their families?

  2. Apr 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Wow. These are great…and so upside down, especially in our culture, particularly #3 & 4. We’re taught to be consumers and the church has been working so hard to deliver to that expectation, which means that American Christianity has some substantial unlearning to do. We want this world AND Jesus (but not all of Him), and some of our teaching has endorsed this attitude.

    We need more of these reminders, so thanks!

  3. Apr 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Love those values….challenged me to look at ours.

    What struck me about the LC values is that they are full of passion and action.

  4. 4Steven Furtick
    Apr 14, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Wow…these are fantastic. So much so that now I’ve got to go improve ours. Thx a lot :)

  5. 5Alex Baez
    Apr 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm


    Love what you are doing! All organizations have values - you learn them by your experiences with the organization. You are revisiting and making explicit what is evident to all who interact with you.

  6. Apr 14, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    These are some great values! Micro-church with a mega-vision FTW!

  7. Apr 14, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I’m writing (typeing) these down!

    We may have never looked at these in my college ministry…I thought we had, but we have really just gone over our vision. But vision without values ain’t vision at all! If you don’t know your values then how are you going to run with vision?

    Dang…aint that a cup o’tea? This Thursday we’re going over our values in our leadership meeting!

  8. Apr 14, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Doggone you Craig! Now you have gone and made more work for me to do! :) this is quite a challenge you have issued. We have a purpose statement centered around the letters PEACE. Are we talking about the same thing or is this something totally different? Good to have you back and look forward to hearing the rest (then I can copy and not have to work) :)

  9. Apr 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    [...] Craig Groeschel is thinking about and refining his church values. I find his comments worth listening to, so here they are, along with some comments of my own. [...]

  10. Apr 14, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    What process, if any, do you go through to work/rework your values? Any thoughts?


  11. 12Alicia Lewis
    Apr 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Craig, I love & miss you! I can hear your voice so clearly in these values. It’s not enough to have a big vision, it must be clear and clearly communicated. You have always been great at that! Love watching LifeChurch continue to grow from Nashville.

  12. Apr 14, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks for the explanation Craig!

  13. Apr 14, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Great stuff Craig - I love the way you’ve worded your values. You’ve proven that the wording of a value actually increases the weight or the force of the value. Excellent!

    Some churches never identify their values. Others confuse perceived values with actual values: From those I’ve interacted with on your team, I can tell that all of these values are actual values.

    Good stuff!

  14. Apr 15, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Thanks for modeling the way! Many throw out the concept of values based leadership altogether because there are so many poor examples in the church world. Or pastors photocopy vision lingo, because their fixated on the “product” rather than going through their own process. It’s refreshing to see these core convictions that guide decisions and reveal the strengths of the Elevation. “A river without banks is just a large puddle” -

  15. Apr 15, 2010 at 9:58 am

    This is good stuff. I especially like Stephen’s comment on perceived values versus actual values.

    I’m wondering though, not having read the book, what lies behind value number 5: “We wholeheartedly reject the label mega-church. We are a micro-church with a mega-vision.” Is there a negative connotation to the term “mega-church” in America that I’m not aware of?

  16. Apr 15, 2010 at 10:43 am

    These are great values - counter cultural, and Kingdom-minded.

    I’m wondering if they were values in your heart before the church even launched? Or were they values you grew into as the church has progressed? Obviously they’ve morphed over the years, and you’ve discussed different wording - which is very important. But is their core meaning something that’s always been in your heart, or did that come as you traveled the journey of church leadership?

  17. 21Will
    Apr 15, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    We are a brand new Network Church in Harrah,OK with only about 40 partners, so the micro-church with a mega-vision really hit home with us as we watched this from the All Staff meeting. That is exactly where we are at right now! Thanks, man.

  18. May 21, 2010 at 9:01 am

    [...] One document that has been sparking some of my thinking today is “The Code” from Elevation Church (great church in Charlotte, NC). It really is their core values as a ministry but I love the way they approach it by talking about it being their ‘code’ (Craig Groeschel wrote a bit about it here). [...]