6 Keys to a Culture of Evangelism
Since its launch in 1982, Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV), in Phoenix, Arizona, has had one consistent mission: win people to Christ, train believers to become disciples, and send disciples to impact the world. In 2018, CCV baptized 3,729 people.
CCV’s culture of evangelism and disciple-making exists in large part because of the staff and leadership culture that is promoted through its Core Values. From pastors, to support staff, to volunteers, if you are a part of the CCV team, you bleed the Core Values that shape the culture of evangelism that is transforming a city.
CCV Core Values (C.H.R.I.S.T.)
1.Commitment to Excellence
We set ridiculously high expectations and then exceed them. God and mediocrity don’t mix.
CCV works hard to make sure that everyone’s first impression is a great one. For someone who is unchurched, the idea of walking into a dirty, sloppy or unprofessional environment is unacceptable. For someone to invest over an hour of his or her time, it had better be worth it. The message of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit is by far the greatest thing CCV has to offer. To help keep people long enough to hear the message, it is important to create an environment that is clean, welcoming, and intentional for guests.
2. Heart for Evangelism
We will risk it all to win one more. Jesus’ last command is our first priority.
If the Core Values were to be ranked in order of priority, this would by far be #1. The programming, messages, worship, small groups and next gen ministries are all designed first for the unbeliever, second for the Christian. This means that their communicators avoid “church speak” and assume that everyone is new at CCV. Next Steps are made clear in the discipleship process guiding people from New-to-CCV, to Starting Point, to Baptism, to Neighborhood Groups.
We value people over process. People first, every day.
CCV Staff spend a huge amount of their time focused on the individual. Through the utilization of a Central Support Team, and a multi-campus model that places a high value on reproducible systems, pastors and staff are able to fill their weeks recruiting and developing disciple-makers. By investing in relationships, staff are able to multiply their efforts through great leaders who can then multiply themselves in someone else.
We follow through. Every time. Zero gap between what we say and do.
There is perhaps no greater foul at CCV than letting a person slip through the cracks. Whether it is a first-time guest, a teenager wanting to volunteer, or a long-time member asking for assistance, CCV leaders treat each person like he or she is the most important person in Phoenix. Zero gap matters because you never know when the person reaching out is ready to take the next step to trust and follow Jesus.
5. Servant Attitude
We pick up trash. We refuse to say, “That’s not my job.”
If you look closely at the CCV team, it’s hard to tell who’s a “pastor” and who’s on the house-keeping team. That’s because everyone engages in every aspect of the work. Some of the greatest testimonies have come out of the operations team emptying trash cans with guys who are new to Christ and recovering from brokenness. If you step foot on a CCV campus, you may have trouble finding any trash on the ground. That’s because the senior pastor, campus pastors, and executive team every day pick up trash around campus.
We celebrate teamwork over talent. You’re replaceable, the team is not.
Leading someone to Christ is never a one-man show. The journey of disciple-making is a team effort. Campus staff have regular meetings to discuss families as whole units. Adult ministry pastors work with kid’s pastors to plug people into serving roles that will help them grow as disciples. Student pastors will leverage the influence of a campus pastor to build a relationship with local high school administration. There are no individual names on the back of their jerseys. Each person does his or her part to reach the lost and help people take their next step in becoming a disciple.
Through these Core Values, CCV has been able to keep the main thing, the main thing. The prioritization of evangelism and disciple-making has meant having to say no to a lot of good things so that we can stay focused on the most important thing: winning people to Jesus Christ.