Anything worth saying is worth pounding. The values you hold are worth saying. If you want to effectively communicate your values then you will need to repeat them over and over, pounding them into the minds of your people. Notice I said “effectively communicate”? Effective communication results in comprehension and action. I can preach a sermon but that’s no guarantee my congregation will comprehend (understand) or apply (take action upon) my words. I must not assume communication is occurring just because words are flowing. Certain things enhance communication. As a pastor you are a professional communicator. Professionals are always honing their skills. One communication skill is that of repetition. Repetition insures communication.
Whatever your values are, those things you want your people to walk in, those principles will need to be hammered/pounded, repeated, and reinforced again and again and again. For example, if you want your people to be “givers” it won’t be enough to preach on giving once a year. We won’t produce people who “share their faith” as a result of one great sermon on personal evangelism. Repetition insures communication.
Exercise #1. Draw up a list of your most important values. Don’t make it too long. When I was pastoring my “values list” would have looked something like this:
1. I want my people to be humble.
2. I want my people to have a consistent and meaningful devotional life.
3. I want my people to be inviters and includers.
4. I want my people to be givers.
5. I want my people to be servants.
6. I want my people to be patient, and gentle, and forgiving towards one another.
7. I want my people to be suspicious of their cultures attempts to influence them.
Maybe your list will be different, maybe longer, maybe shorter. The important thing is that you identify your values. Next, plan your next twelve months of preaching around your values. If you tend to teach topically then this will be easy. If you tend to focus on book studies (of which I’m a big proponent) you will find your values coming up within the context of your book study.
The bottom line is this: repetition of your values will insure communication, comprehension, and action.
Exercise #2. Identify ways to reinforce and repeat your values other than through your preaching and teaching ministry.
I remember communicating my values through the literature we made available, and the type of programs we implemented. In addition to this, I would talk about our values in leadership team meetings and new member classes. What ideas can you come up with?
You are trying to create a certain kind of church. This “kind of church” is based on your values. If it’s important enough to be a value then it’s important enough to bear repeating. People learn through repetition. Communication is enhanced through repetition.
What values do your people need hammered into them over the next twelve months? Develop a plan and start pounding.
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