How We Do What We Do Matters
What are the FIEC values, why have we revised them, and what do we intend to do with them?
Back in January 2020, when we were still allowed to do such things, our senior leadership team went away for a few days to pray and plan. It was a fruitful time, and one of the key decisions we made was to revise the FIEC Values Statement.
It’s never had a particularly prominent place in FIEC life, and you couldn’t have found it on the website. When we reviewed it, we recognised that it was more about the things we valued rather than being a values statement. So, it needed to be fit for purpose.
We wanted to shape the FIEC values because we have always understood that, in Christian ministry, effectiveness is a function - humanly speaking - of both what we do and how we do it (eg. 1 Timothy 4:16-17).
In this sense, Christian ministry is different from any other kind of work. I have worked for organisations and businesses with values statements, and there are all kinds of good reasons to have them. But none of those places thought that effectiveness was so closely linked to the manner in which work is conducted.
In other words, it’s not just what you do that matters, but the way that you do it. Ultimately, that’s not a management idea; it is a Bible idea.
So, we began an exercise reading slowly through Paul’s letters and noting down how Paul related to the individuals and churches with whom he dealt.
Our relationship to churches and leaders is not, of course, analogous. We don’t have apostolic authority. Nevertheless, we saw in Paul’s vocabulary a pattern for us to contextualise and then follow.
The FIEC values statement
Our new values statement is the end result: adopted by the Trust Board in 2020 and presented to all our staff in April 2021. We see at least four reasons for having such a statement:
For our own benefit
We need to constantly have before us biblical exhortations.
Each of our temptations and besetting relational sins are different, but each of us needs this ministry of reminder so we know how to conduct ourselves. We have already discussed ways we can ensure it is embedded into our culture.
For others to hold us accountable
It would be easy to see this statement as a stick with which others can beat us, but we are more positive. Much more positive. For this is a statement which, we believe, calls us to be more Christlike, and which of us would not want to aspire to this great calling, with the Spirit’s help?
As an invitation to those who work with us
We want this to be a basis for how our staff operate, but also for how volunteers working with us do so.
Again, why would we not want to aspire to be more Christlike as we work together?
To encourage others to follow a similar path
This we hope for without, we trust, any sense of pride or arrogance.
Many do follow this path already, of course. And we’re grateful for the example others have set for us. But we also want to exhort other brothers and sisters – churches, leaders, parachurch organisations – to join us in pursuing godliness alongside the Lord’s gracious gifting.
Of course, we are all a work in progress. We know there will be times when we haven’t been Christlike with others on our staff team or with our partners in ministry.
Our Values Statement can be summed up as a desire to be more holy and godly in our day-to-day ministry. Please pray that would be increasingly true in our interactions with each other and our interactions with our churches.