VALUES that point to MISSION
I grew up in a small, largely English suburb of Montréal. We lived a five minute walk from both a corner drugstore and grocery. I remember walking up Pine Beach Blvd as a young boy, fetching bread or milk for my mom. Mr. Goldberg ran a very efficient little drugstore. My mom knew him well.
Next door to the drugstore was a grocery – a meat market, and the proprietor was Bruno. His store was always a little dark and less finished than his neighbour’s store. The paint on the wooden meat enclosures was chipped and he still threw sawdust on the floors – I haven’t seen that since. Each store, side by side, had its weaknesses and its strengths, but as the 1960s ended and the 1970s began, Mr. Goldberg noticed the needs of his customers were changing. More customers wanted to get in and out of the store quickly, rather than chatting with the proprietor. Others wanted a greater selection of merchandise, and so some of his customers were leaving and going to the newly opened Dorval Shopping Mall. None of us had seen anything like it before. The age of the shopping mall had begun.
Mr. Goldberg must have sensed the dissonance and interpreted it as an ultimatum for change. Bruno kept throwing sawdust on the floor of his store. My mother started to take me to Steinbergs at the mall for groceries because of its bright, clean linoleum chrome look.
Mr. Goldberg chose to survive – even thrive – despite the new shopping mall. Rather than asking for our Life-Savers candy rolls from behind the counter, Mr. Goldberg installed self-serve candy counters along with self-serve book and magazine counters. He even installed a self-serve ice cream and Popsicle counter. My brothers and I were in confectionary heaven. He hired another pharmacist to dispense the prescriptions faster, and while he was always available for a chat, he never sought to take up my mom’s time if she was in a hurry. Bruno, on the other hand, kept throwing sawdust on the floors of his dimly-lit grocery store.
By the mid-'70s, when we moved from Montreal, Bruno’s grocery store was bankrupt, while Mr. Goldberg’s drugstore was thriving. Why did one business thrive while the other failed? Mr. Goldberg demonstrated how an organization can shift its values in order to succeed. Values are those written or understood truths that direct how we’re going to operate on a daily basis. They demonstrate how we’re going to fulfill our mission and vision; whether we’re going to prioritize things like honesty or innovation as we fulfill our mission in life.
Our values should support us in focusing on mission. Fulfilling our original purpose is worth an interruption or suspension of familiar ministries or programs. Churches are faced with a similar dilemma: like Bruno, we can choose to persevere in our comfortable ministry habits, but the result is churches becoming unhealthy and, eventually, closing.
What do our values say about our eagerness to fulfill mission? Are we willing to face reality and possibly give up some of our own “sacred cows” for the glory of God? The values we choose can either help or hinder us in this noble cause. In this edition of THRIVE, we are going to take a look at each of the seven values that guide our movement of churches. They are found in our Fellowship Direction Document, “We are the Fellowship” (go to www.wearethefellowship.ca to see the document and video). Note the values listed below; let’s take a peek at how we are embracing these values for God’s glory and our good.
WE UNITE TOGETHER IN:
• RADICAL SUBMISSION TO GOD’S WORD RESULTING IN BIBLICAL PROCLAMATION AND PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION.
• STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP MULTIPLICATION RESULTING IN EQUIPPED AND EMPOWERED
• FERVENT PRAYER RESULTING IN GROWING DEPENDENCE ON GOD.’
• ACTIVE COMPASSION RESULTING IN MERCY, RELIEF, AND JUSTICE.
• COMMITTED INTERDEPENDENCE RESULTING IN COLLABORATIVE PARTICIPATION.
• MUTUAL ACCOUNTABILITY RESULTING IN MEASURABLE KINGDOM GROWTH.
• BOLD INNOVATION RESULTING IN CULTURALLY RELEVANT MINISTRY.