In the early days of our church, founding pastor Steve Sjogren coined a simple phrase for people to use in basic “servant evangelism” outreaches.
For instance, when we did free car washes…or water bottle giveaways at busy intersections…or raked leaves or shoveled snow in neighborhoods…or cleaned bathrooms for free in local businesses…or walked along busy streets picking up trash…or anytime we did some little act of service for free for someone, the most asked question was, “So, uh, why are you doing this?”
The phrase we would respond with was, “We just want to show you God’s love in a practical way.”
That was a simple response that people were taught to say that made our folks feel comfortable doing something anyone could do but perhaps felt awkward at first. Giving them language was vital. In other words, it made doing these outreaches replicable. Or do-able for anyone. No serious training required.
When I was involved in leading worship back in the day, we did songs that were simple and uncomplicated from an arrangement perspective and “sing-able” factor. Why? Because worship was a critical value for us and we wanted every small group to have a worship component that the average guitarist or keyboardist could lead. Key word: average.
Excellence wasn’t the priority…replication was.
We weren’t looking for musical brilliance, we were looking for worship replication. Again, do-able for the semi-average musician. And, of course, we would regularly have what we called a “musicians’ fellowship” where anyone who played an instrument and roughly sang on key (we’d say, “Just be good enough to not be distracting!” ) could come and learn a handful of new songs to take back to their small groups. And dozens would show up to worship and learn.
The methodologies aren’t important here.
And I’m not saying these are the things you should do. What I am saying is that knowing what your core values are is critical. Replication (or reproduction) was an important strategy for us because it supported a theological truth—or value—that was near and dear to us: the priesthood of all believers. And if we wanted as many people in our church as possible doing real ministry, we had to make sure that what we were doing was reproducible.
Did you notice where values and strategies shake hands?
So if worship is a key value for you, how can you make it as ubiquitous, accessible, and authentic as possible? If it’s only do-able for a select group of specialists and experts, you’re dead in the water.
And if expressing the servant-heart of Jesus beyond your walls and creating a culture of servanthood in your church (outward-focus and servanthood were core values for us), how can you make them do-able and accessible?
So here’s the million-dollar question:
What are your strategies to reproduce your core values throughout your church or organization?
And remember: values are constant; strategies can morph. But without intentional strategies to put them into practice, your values are just calligraphy painted on your lobby walls.