What We Value Most: Reimagining the Strategic Values with New Vocabulary
By Mary Baker-Boudissa
The Church of God has always been guided by vision and its call to join the kingdom mission of sharing the good news with the world. The current vision, “Transforming Culture by Being the Body of Christ,” was borne out of the 2006 Strategic Planning Conference and affirmed at the next planning meeting in September 2011. In the years since the initial conference, the work of resourcing the local church to transform the culture around it has been carried out by the Transformation Teams.
As a how-to framework for moving the church forward in its vision, Church of God leadership identified Five Strategic Values—Ignite, Permeate, Free, Cultivate, and Refresh—based on spiritual principles that embody the elements of transformation.
In Wednesday’s session of the General Assembly, Transformation Team coordinator Dr. Andy Stephenson announced a “reimagining” of the Five Strategic Values with words that are at the heart of what is valued most in our movement: Love, Reach, Connect, Grow, and Love. “After the Strategic Planning Conference,” stated Stephenson, “the teams started to dream about using words that could be easily identified and become a familiar part of our vocabulary and, hopefully, of our DNA.”
The result of the teams’ dialogue was a simplified approach to the strategic values, which provides a common “map” to transformation in the journey of every believer toward a full relationship with Christ. The words have changed, but the scriptural basis remains the same:
• Love—Living out the love of Christ, in accordance with the Great Commandment, in every relationship (Matt 22:37–39)
• Reach—Reaching out to others, as the body of Christ, to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt 28:18–20)
• Connect—Renewing our relational connectivity and identity with God and with others (John 17:21–22)
• Grow —Becoming more like Christ as we nurture and exercise our spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:1–7)
• Live—Practicing whole-life stewardship by surrendering our every resource to God (Matt 6:33)
As part of the presentation to the General Assembly, Stephenson, along with Randy Montgomery, team leader for Team Grow & Connect, shared a video clip containing messages about how the values bring about transformation in our lives, which can be viewed online at www.chog.org/StrategicValues.