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5 Strategies for Defining Your Own Core Values

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In the early years of their ministry, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland began learning God’s absolutes for their lives. They began applying principles from God’s Word for guiding their personal life and ministry. Their goals were to use His Word as the blueprint for how they would raise their children, how they would treat the people God would call to serve alongside them, how they would handle their personal finances and the finances of the ministry, and as the standard against which they would make all the decisions necessary for encouraging everyone God had called them reach.

These principles evolved over the years to become the standards by which Kenneth Copeland Ministries and Eagle Mountain International Church would reach the world with the Word of God. And today, the ministry refers to these as our core values.

Understanding what core values are and why they are important to you will help you walk successfully in your life with Christ. Perhaps you’ve heard of core values, as they are something that’s become an integral part of businesses and churches alike. In business, core values are often defined internally as the principles that a business aims to operate by as they lead their teams, and externally as they connect with clients or customers. In churches, core values are often defined as the foundational beliefs and practices a church follows as they worship God, minister to the people in their congregation, and reach others for Christ.

What you may not have considered before is that every one of us should have our own set of core values so that we, too, have a set of guidelines by which we chart the course of our lives—in our spiritual life, in our relationships and in this physical world.

Core values can serve as a clear guide to how we relate to one another in our families, churches, at work, at school and in society in general. They can serve as a compass and filter to navigate any decision we face. They can keep us on track and in the will of God. When we live by core values, it creates a culture—in a family, in a church, in an organization.

Granted, the words core values cannot be found in Scripture, but the idea of what they are most definitely can. For example, the core values of KCM and EMIC are:

  1. We put the Word of God first place. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
  2. We live by faith. Galatians 3:11, Romans 1:17, Hebrews 10:38 and Habakkuk 2:4 all tell us that “the just shall live by faith” (NKJV).
  3. We walk in love. Matthew 22:37-39 says, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
  4. We are led by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (AMPC).
  5. We pray about everything. James 5:16 says, “Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]” (AMPC).
  6. We protect the anointing. Luke 4:18-19 says, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD” (NKJV).
  7. We honor God. Revelation 4:9-11 says, “Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne,  who lives forever and ever,  the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created’” (NKJV).

Can you see how each of these core values are rooted and grounded in the Word of God? These are God’s values and His priorities, and what He demonstrated in Scripture as vitally important. They are the foundation of all Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, and Pastors George and Terri Pearsons do in their leadership of the ministry and the church, as well as the foundation for how they live their lives.

What Is Your Foundation?

The core of anything is its central part. It’s where the seeds of reproduction are produced. Think of an apple; it has a core and that core is loaded with seeds. Our physical bodies have a core; it includes the pelvis, lower back, hips and stomach. It includes the muscles that surround the spine. Core exercises train the muscles in our core so we are steady and upright, and have proper balance.  

When it comes to our values, core refers to our principles or standards of behavior. Core refers to our judgment of what’s important. Therefore, our core values are what we hold most dear; they are our internal compass guiding all our decisions and actions; they are central to how we conduct our lives, guiding our thoughts, motives and actions. We could call them core beliefs, because what we believe is the power that directs our lives. Believing comes from out of our hearts—and that’s really what we’re talking about. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10, NKJV).

Why Do We Need Core Values?

Have you ever composed your own core values? If so, are they based on the Word of God? Defining your own core values is a powerful step to keeping yourself in the will of God throughout the years of your life. It’s a powerful way to identify what’s most important to you and the beliefs God wants you to hold on to. If we don’t have core values, the pressures of this world and deception of the age will steal from, kill and destroy us and everything we love and care about (John 10:10). Without core values rooted in God’s Word, we are ships without a rudder, destined to be tossed back and forth, subject to every whim of evil (Ephesians 4:14). But with core values, we will have the tools to weather any storm and come out better than before.

Consider the following 5 Strategies for Defining Your Own Core Values:

  1. Start with the Word, because God upholds all things by the power of His Word (Hebrews 1:3). The preeminent question in the life of every believer is, “What does the Word say?” The Word is to be final authority in our lives, and for it to be final authority, we must change our lives to line up with the Word of God—and not make the Bible fit our lifestyle.
  2. Pray because prayer is way we communicate with God, so prayer is the means by which we have success. James 4:2-3 says, “You don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” Be sure to ask God to help you define your core values.
  3. Write your core values. Habakkuk 2:2-3 says, “Then the LORD answered me and said: ‘Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry’” (NKJV).
  4. Subject your core values to the Holy Spirit for His guidance and truth. John 16:13-14 says, “But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you” (AMPC).
  5. Begin filtering everything through your newly defined core values. Store them in your heart. As you do, watch how heaven will be produced in your life. Jesus said, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart” (Luke 6:45).

As you implement these 5 Strategies for Defining Your Own Core Values, adjust your list and add to it as the Holy Spirit illuminates even more scriptures and God’s principles to you. Walk into your future trusting that you will have influence in society, be relevant, and remain grounded in who you are in Christ. As you realize you are called by Jesus to live according to and be grounded in your core values, outside elements will not be able to move you and you will walk successfully with Him!