9 Clues to Secret Core Values

More on discerning your church's hidden agenda.

(Editor's note: This is a follow-up to Angie's recent column "Discerning Your Church's Hidden Core Values: It's the unstated, underlying purpose that really drives a church." Click here to read that column.)

Thanks, and wow. Thank you to everyone who responded to my previous column about hidden core values. Thanks for sharing your insights and questions. It was a privilege to read about your stories and your struggles, and I hope what follows will be of help on your leadership journey.

First, a quick review: Most churches these days have some sort of mission or purpose statement. All churches, however, also have their own internal culture, a set of shared attitudes, values, and beliefs that define church and shape its practices. This deeply entrenched culture can be summarized into an "ethos" statement which is almost never officially articulated, but is nonetheless extremely powerful. Here are some (more) examples:

  • Let's just have church and go home.
  • We're better than you.
  • Don't ask questions.
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