I’ve been leading a team at Valley to build some Core Principles for the congregation to work through this coming fall. They finished up their work this week so their final meeting was Thursday night. (Core Principles are statements designed to challenge us to imitate Jesus.)
I’ve led teams before that stretched on way to long. Their work was done, but they had grown to like each other they didn’t want to stop meeting; so instead of calling it quits they found something else to do. In my experience this is always a bad idea. The new project, because it was contrived to keep the team together instead of the other way around, is never as good as the original. Team motivation and moral is hard to keep going. They start to lose focus and things become frustrating. By the end of the second project the excitement and power of the first one is long forgotten, the once energizing relationships have faded, and the people begin to question why they are on the team at all.
The Thursday night team at Valley was the opposite. I felt like they ended to early (which is probably right on time). At the end of the meeting no one wanted to leave. After several moments of awkward silence, I got up and started cleaning the room. Everyone else just sat there, stunned that it was all over. It was a great team. One I will look back on with fondness.
And the work they did was important. They have been going for two and a half months. Each week they would meet and discuss one of the member’s favorite stories from the Gospels. After the discussion the team would finish the sentence, “Because of this story we should live…” Finally a principle would emerge for the team to practice until our next meeting. They have built seven principles that the congregation at Valley will start working through in the Fall.
If you have been reading this blog for a while then you know this is how the Thingy formed (the missional community Wendy and I are a part of). You can read about that here, here, and here. Because they are a traditional church Valley will practice these differently than the Thing does. I’m really pumped about that…but I can’t spill the beans of how it will play out just yet.
I’m proud of the Valley team. They did a fantastic job. I’m sad the work is done and the team has come to an end. I can’t wait for the congregation to be changed by what they built. I think it is going to be a life shaping, historic, remember-forever time for the church. Here is what the team built with (in no particular order):
Seek the Spirit: Thirst for Jesus, drink deeply from the Word, and let the Holy Spirit flow through you. (John 7:37-39)
Be Simple: Act with child-like simplicity and awe. (Mark 10:13-16)
Join Jesus: Despite fear, with faith and trust, join Jesus in the impossible. (Matthew 14:22-36)
Seek the Lost: Outrageously seek the lost with loving perseverance. (Luke 15:1-7)
Offer Restoring Love: Joyfully offer unconditional love that restores. (Luke 15:11-32)
Serve: Model the full extent of Jesus’ love by serving each other. (John 13:1-17)
Go Make Disciples: In worship, be courageous and go make disciples, knowing that He is with you. (Matthew 28)
Great job Valley Team! I’m excited about what the Lord has in store for the church.