What is important to you? What shapes your life? Have you ever given much thought to that question? All of us are shaped by an internal set of values that guide us and help prioritize our lives. Values that shape who we are personally and, if you are married, values that shape your marriage and family.
We are all different. We all, to some extent, value different things. Some place a high value on exercise. And so you plan your schedule around it. When it doesn’t happen, it effects you. Others value family time and like clock work, you have a set time or day that you turn off all electronics, put the cell phones on silent and spend dedicated, quality time as a family.
About a year ago, I began to think about Ashworth Road and who we are. What is it that makes us tick? What are our core values? What are the threads that are woven through us as a church.
My initial thought was that we are a Missions church. Ever since I came to Iowa in 2007, I have told people that this is the most missions minded church I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of. Missions isn’t just something we throw money at or give lip service to. It is something we do and do often. It is something we encourage our kids and youth to do. It is a part of our DNA.
Honestly, it is something that if you aren’t a part of, you could feel a little left out. Last year, we did an event at Oakridge Neighborhood and we had over 80 people show up to help. We do events like Summer of Love or now Serve Des Moines and we have tons of people volunteering to give up their time to go serve others. It truly is amazing.
But as I approached the question, who are we as a church, I knew that there had to be more to us than just missions, although that is not a bad place to begin!
Over the last year, the staff, the leadership team and I have been on a journey to define who is Ashworth Road and what are the values that define and shape us as a church. But I didn’t want to stop there. I wanted to identify those values that we want to go deeper within our church and that would also define us individually and as families?
As we did this, we didn’t run out and buy a book to tell us what we should be. We didn’t find cool churches to borrow their ideas from. And we didn’t hire a consultant to come in and tell us who we needed to be.
What we did was look in the mirror, at the church. We looked at who we already were. What values did we already see here. And we wrote those down and clarified them.
And so we preached a series where we began to unwind these Threads: The Values Woven Through Ashworth Church.