The US Army is one of my favorite organizations. Not perfect by any means and they have had their dark times, but overall they represent the best in our nation in terms of leadership development and turning out leaders of integrity. There have been notable failures of course, but we are dealing with a human institution after all.
The Army has seven core values and I have at time wondered how they would do as values for a ministry. See what you think:
Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and devoting yourself to something or someone. A loyal Soldier is one who supports the leadership and stands up for fellow Soldiers. By wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army you are expressing your loyalty. And by doing your share, you show your loyalty to your unit. What about bear true faith and allegiance to Jesus Christ, your ministry, your team, and fellow servants of Christ?
Fulfill your obligations. Doing your duty means more than carrying out your assigned tasks. Duty means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team. The work of the U.S. Army is a complex combination of missions, tasks and responsibilities — all in constant motion. Our work entails building one assignment onto another. You fulfill your obligations as a part of your unit every time you resist the temptation to take “shortcuts” that might undermine the integrity of the final product. No change here except to replace U.S. Army with the name of your ministry.
Treat people as they should be treated. In the Soldier’s Code, we pledge to “treat others with dignity and respect while expecting others to do the same.” Respect is what allows us to appreciate the best in other people. Respect is trusting that all people have done their jobs and fulfilled their duty. And self-respect is a vital ingredient with the Army value of respect, which results from knowing you have put forth your best effort. The Army is one team and each of us has something to contribute. Again, basically no change here except to replace U.S. Army with the name of your ministry.
Put the welfare of the Nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. Selfless service is larger than just one person. In serving your country, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition or gain. The basic building block of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort. In Christianity, we may refer to this as dying to self. Put the Name of Christ and the needs of those you minister to and those you lead before your own.
Live up to Army values. The Nation’s highest military award is The Medal of Honor. This award goes to Soldiers who make honor a matter of daily living — Soldiers who develop the habit of being honorable, and solidify that habit with every value choice they make. Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do. Live as an image bearer of Christ reflecting him to a broken world. Develop the holy habits of the heart so that a Christ-like response to situations becomes second nature.
Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles. It requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others. As your integrity grows, so does the trust others place in you. The more choices you make based on integrity, the more this highly prized value will affect your relationships with family and friends, and, finally, the fundamental acceptance of yourself. Pretty simple – do what is right according to God’s Word. Be above reproach in all areas of your life.
Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral). Personal courage has long been associated with our Army. With physical courage, it is a matter of enduring physical duress and at times risking personal safety. Facing moral fear or adversity may be a long, slow process of continuing forward on the right path, especially if taking those actions is not popular with others. You can build your personal courage by daily standing up for and acting upon the things that you know are honorable. Again – little change. Face fear, especially the fear of man, knowing who you serve – the Lord of lords. As they say, courage is often continuing to do what is right, facing adversity over the long run. “Whom shall we fear?”
Just some thoughts about core values to start off your week. What do you think? Would these apply to ministry in your opinion?
Blessings on your week!