We’ve just completed an exercise at YM360 where, as a team, we took our values and put them into writing. We interviewed our team members and evaluated our behaviors. And then we condensed our findings, ultimately putting into writing the values YM360 lives out on a daily basis. The goal is to give these values high visibility both internally and externally as a way of serving as a sort of ministry plumb-line.

This is an interesting season for YM360. We’ve always been very intentional about our ministry culture. But as God has blessed us with growth, it became essential for us to make sure that our culture is both maintained, and transmitted to new team members. The last thing we want is cultural drift as we grow.

I want to share the results of our work with you. Why? Because the idea of identifying your values, in order to make sure you’re living them out, is actually quite biblical. Your ministry may benefit from this exercise as well.

Proverbs 10:9 says, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” Proverbs 19:1 is similar: “Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.” The idea here is that our actions must line up with our stated beliefs. Our “walk” must be true. It must be in line with our stated beliefs, as individuals and as organizations. When we say we are one thing and do another, we are walking “crookedly.”

I would strongly advise you to undergo the same process with your ministry. Work with your team and your students to define your values. Put them in writing and make them visible. This is valuable both as a guide for who you are, but also as an evaluative tool. It allows you to look at your stated values and ask, are we doing these things? Where can we improve?

Here are the values we identified. I’d love to know how you think we’re doing. And if we can help you think through this process with your organization, we’d be happy to do so.

We Elevate Christ.

YM360 helps youth workers lead their students to be passionate about the Way, the Word, and the world. Everything we do, from resources to events, is Christ-centered and Gospel-driven. We don’t just want students to be consumers of the Gospel, we want them to be conduits of the Gospel, taking the good news of Christ to a world in desperate need of it. Ministry isn’t just a paycheck. It’s a calling.

We Serve Relationally.

At YM360, we are deeply committed to cultivating relationships with the youth workers we serve. (Like, it’s not unlikely that you’ll get a note or gift card from us just because we like you.) We not only take the time to get to know you, we care about you. We truly see ourselves as an extension of your team, journeying with you through challenges, and celebrating your victories. (But not helping out with your lock-ins . . . that’s on you.)

We Invest Intentionally.

The YM360 team believes in the next generation of Christ-followers and the people who lead them. Students don’t just have potential for the future; they have power for now. Everything we create is specifically geared toward laying a foundation of faith that will last long into adulthood. Students matter deeply to God. And we’re grateful to be a small part of empowering the next generation to impact the world for Christ.

We Empower Discipleship.

At YM360, we want to see teenagers know God and make Him known. In a word, we want to see them become disciples. Whether it’s Generate camp, a Bible study resource, or a training experience, the things we create at YM360 are all designed to lead students, and leaders like you, closer to Christ. Everything we do is biblically-centered, culturally-relevant, and ultra-creative. If it’s from YM360, you can trust it.

We Crush Hassles.

Our YM360 team wakes up each day ready to pitch-in and make life a little easier for youth workers. We go to great lengths to eliminate the hassles our youth workers face. Simply put, it’s hard to find better service . . . anywhere. If it’s a problem, we’ll fix it. If you need a question answered, we won’t stop until we find a solution. Seriously. We. Crush. Hassles.

We Assemble Awesome.

At YM360, our greatest asset is our people. And what a collection of people it is. The YM360 team is full of awesome folks. Our team is remarkably experienced, ridiculously personable, and, yes, maybe a little weird sometimes. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a team that works harder, has more fun, and cares more about God’s mission. You win with good people. And God continues to bring good people to YM360.

We Partner Purposefully.

At YM360, we believe we’re stronger together than we are alone. That’s why we engage in strategic partnerships with other ministries, organizations, leaders, churches, and individuals, working as a team to see students come to know Christ and make Him known. We hold true to a Kingdom mindset that sees partnering with like-minded people and organizations as honoring to God. Alone we may go fast. But together we go far.

As we worked with our team to identify values we hold and values we want to strive for, I was reminded once again that God is doing something special in YM360. Thank you for being a part of that.