Church Culture Conference: Values and Goals

We’ve been blogging today from The Church Culture Conference at Willow Creek Community Church, and we are loving all that we’re learning. Check out our other posts for great tips for HR professionals and leaders who want to establish a strong culture in their church staffs.

For the day’s second breakout, we heard from Terri Taylor, who leads the HR team at Life.Church, as she talks about performance, goals, and everything in between.

To think about performance reviews, you first need values or rules to measure against. At Life.Church, we call them ‘Core Values’ and ‘Behavior Values,’ and they’re part of each team member’s annual review. You can see examples of Life.Church’s values and code and download them for free as inspiration for creating your own.

Core Values: the principles that describe who you are and who you want to become.

Behavior Values: the actions or traits that help you fulfill your core values. 

Values are big-scale ideas—some examples of core values at Life.Church are “We are faith-filled, big-thinking, bet-the-farm risk takers” and “We will lead the way with irrational generosity.” But values are often so big that any one team member is not solely responsible for filling them.

That’s where goals come in. Where performance is measured, performance is improved. When we create goals that help us fulfill our values, we find that the entire organization moves in the same direction. At Life.Church, we create two kinds of goals, and they’re used to help leaders conduct annual performance reviews.

Two kinds of goals…

Objective goals: Concrete goals that can be measured, touched, or seen. An example of an objective goal is “I will create twelve new small groups every month this year.” A team member either reaches this goal or he doesn’t, and it has a numerical value.

Value goals: Value goals are more intellectual, spiritual, or relational. Judging whether a person has achieved these kinds of goals happens during a series of discussions between a team member and his or her leader. An example of a value goal is “I will increase my capacity so I can be more effective.” In a performance review, a team leader is looking for mental, spiritual, and relational signs that the team member’s capacity really has increased.

At Life.Church, every team member actually plugs objective and value goals into our performance review tool Develop.Me. The tool helps team members keep track of goals, fosters communication between leaders and employees, and manages our yearly performance reviews.

Bonus notes from Terri:

You must have a culture that allows failure. Not repeated failure—but the healthy kind of failure that shows a person is willing to take risks and receive correction that will help them grow.

Always look for opportunities to change. Not just for the sake of change or to try the newest thing—but change in a positive direction allows us to move closer and closer to our goals.

Tomorrow is day two of The Church Culture Conference! Check back with us for more on creating a culture of development in your church. And if you’re attending this year, stop by and meet us at the Life.Church Open Network booth, and take a tour of our free staff development app, Develop.Me.



FOMO is real, so don’t take chances.

Get the latest blog content delivered straight to your inbox.

Reach more people for Christ.

Find free resources, training, online community, and apps on the Life.Church Open Network.

Start your free account