Every congregation has values. These values can be spoken or unspoken. The values of the congregation drive the majority of the action. There are numerous values within a congregational system. These values operate on a weighted principle. The most important values surpass the lesser values.
A Biblical illustration of values guiding actions is found in Mark 7:9-13: “He was also saying to them, “You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. ‘For Moses said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER’; and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, LET HIM BE PUT TO DEATH’; but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, anything of mine you might have been helped by is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.” The Jews consider giving to God above providing for parents. The value system influenced the priorities of the people. It was not that the Jews did not believe in supporting one’s parents, but rather it was considered more honorable to gift to God instead of the parents. Jesus is rebuking the Jews for misplaced priorities or values. Your value system is in error.
Every congregation has a value system that guides its activities. Some congregations consider growth to be above truth, or truth above love, or love above growth. These value systems are seen in congregational choices. If a congregation desires truth above love, than the congregation will quickly pull acceptance from someone that questions the norm. But if the congregation values love above truth, than the congregation will be patience with the member. Values are never either/or choices but priority decisions. The values of the congregation effect the practice of the congregation is powerful ways.