Have you ever attempted to write your own statement of what matters most to you? Organisations do this and produce organisational Value Statements. Some might see these simply as branding tools designed to give a company a competitive edge. Value statements first began to appear in the USA in the 1950s as social scientists, following the second world war, began to explore why people behave the way they do and how human systems (organisations) work. For OCMS, a Values Statement does a number of things:
A marker: As we grow and change, we want to capture what matters to us and will continue to underpin who we are and what we do
An inspiration: We want something that inspires us to be what God has called us to be as a spiritual, missional, academic community
Accountability: an invitation to reflect personally and as a community on how we are behaving
In October our whole staff team spent the best part of a day together reflecting on our history and ethos and, building from that, seeking to identify what matters most to OCMS: our values. It proved to be a tremendously stimulating and encouraging process. After a few further rounds of discussion, the Council approved the following statement in their meeting last week:
God-Dependent, Christ-Centred, Spirit-Empowered – we are centred on worship, prayer and the Word of God that shape our calling to sacrificial service
Globally connected – we seek to embrace diverse expressions of the Body of Christ in companionship and collaboration
Hospitable – we aspire to be an open, humble and welcoming community that champions voices less heard
Pursuing excellence – we seek God’s wisdom to be the best we can as an organisation and in the curiosity and rigour of our research and scholarship
Transformational – pioneering and prophetic, and ready to be challenged ourselves, we seek to be and to nurture agents of change at the cutting edges of God’s mission.
What a statement to seek to embody! It definitely meets our goal in creating a Values Statement: to be a marker of who we are, an inspiration drawing us forward and a check-list for accountability. Maybe you want to try the same exercise for yourself and those you work with.
Together in Him,