He explained that he has always considered his core values to be his belief in Jesus Christ and the Bible as the infallible word of God and that he builds his life on that. However, he wanted to know how to go about determining additional core values besides reading his Bible and praying to get answers (which is the first and most important step to start with) that will continue to guide him into his future.
Here's what I told him:
- Determining and writing down your personal core values is very important.
- Personal core values guide your behavior, choices, who you want to become and what you chase after every day. At the end of the day, they are what you return to and each time they give you clear direction. Personal core values become your “measuring stick” for every decision in life. I think determining your core values is a huge part of preventing you from heading down a path and one day wondering how you ever got into the mess you are in.
- Personal core values help you select friendships, relationships, business partnerships and make decisions. Your core values also help you lead your family and wisely manage your personal resources such as time and money.
- Your personal core values are standards that greatly influence your attitude and character. They are deeply etched into your emotional and mental make-up, and are not easily changed.
So here's what you should do to set personal core values:
- Pray and read your Bible for direction and answers.
- Make a list of personal core values you want to have and also a list of core values you don't want to have. Be honest with yourself when looking at the values you don't want; this may help you determine some of the values you need to make sure you work on. Writing your core values down really helps clarify them, so I highly advise writing them down and not just making a list in your head.
- Think about character traits you want to have and make sure those are covered in your personal core values.
- Other things to think about when determining your core values: What are you passionate about? What do you absolutely love? What motivates your achievements?
- Determine your final list of personal core values and refer back to them every day. They should become your guiding principles that shape your behavior and decisions on a daily basis.
- Leadership - to continue to develop as a leader. People always told me I was a born leader. In high school, I began understanding what they meant and I determined I wanted to continue to develop my leadership skills to maximize my own life and the influence God has given me to impact others.
- Prayer - prayer has always been one of the most important things in my life. I have always had a vibrant, personal prayer life but I am determined to continue to grow in my prayer life and spend more time praying for my wife, my sons, my church and many other things.
- Evangelism - I always knew evangelism (reaching lost people for Christ) was in my heart and I wanted to lead people to Christ but I also knew this was something that needed to be built up in me. I determined long ago to commit to grow in this area and I am still committed today. Because my heart leans toward evangelism and because God has given me a gift in this area, I knew I needed to become the leader of a church that would do whatever it takes so the world will know about Christ. That's the reason choosing to do video teaching and multisites was an easy decision for me and for Cypress.
- Teach, train and pour myself into the next generation of pastors and leaders. This is why we have the intern and resident program at Cypress.