This is such an interesting time of year for us. Every other year, we’re preparing to make the long flight back over the pond to see our family and friends. This is our off year, and I must say, I’m okay not boarding that flight with the kids (though we really do miss seeing you all, we’re excited for a summer!).
Part of what makes this particular year interesting is that I am busy evaluating 2011 with NieuCommunities and our partner ministries while at the same time laying out plans for 2012. It’s a weird in between space. One of the points that keeps coming up revolves around values & how we express those values.
Many conflicts that have happened in Pretoria over the past year centered around the expression of values, not the values themselves. We may value communication, but how I communicate may be expressed differently than you liked it, so there arises conflict. What I’m seeing, and what I hope will stick into 2012, is that the conflict is actually a tool. It’s a gift from God. Conflict drives us back to our values. “Why are we fighting again?” It’s the core question of reminding us what we’re honestly pursuing together in the first place.
I fear that too many churches have split, too many ministries fallen down because this delicate difference between expression and core value get overlooked. They are not the same things. When we fight to the death for our expressions, we lose out on creative opportunities to expand the potential of our core values.