Possibly the biggest challenge in developing a great church, community, staff team, marriage, family and social relationships, is that of providing a culture of honour to surround, protect and foster these important relationships. A culture of honour transcends position by safely allowing all people to appropriately acknowledge, celebrate, and give to each other, the gift of who they really are and what they can positively and uniquely contribute.
To develop a culture of honour there needs to be a commitment to seriously encourage, practice, and be held accountable for the following foundational qualities in all social exchanges. With additions or deletions, these qualities could be used as a social and relational covenant in a variety of settings. Each quality is both named and explained using a statement of commitment.
I will at all times seek to speak well of others and encourage them especially concerning their giftedness, roles, and ministries
I will, apart from seeking personal confidential counsel, always seek to first address my concerns by directly communicating with those my concerns are about. If a person speaks to me about their concerns regarding another person, I will encourage them to seek a meeting with that person and offer if necessary to go with them for that purpose
I will take the initiative to appropriately raise my areas of concern according to Matthew 18, believing that in so doing I demonstrate the value I place on preserving and strengthening relationships and the value God places on us each and on kingdom community
I will share with those with whom I have concerns, appropriate content, feelings and meaning associated with my concerns
Non-defensive active listening
I am willing to listen to others’ concerns about me without defence so as to accurately understand and have verified by them that I have understood their concerns (content, feelings and meaning)
I am “for” those with whom I have concerns, not “against” them, and so will offer them my respect by my listening, looking, speaking, word selection, tone of voice, reasoning, style of approach, body language and responses
I will always strive to be open, transparent, and true to myself in my communication
I will make every effort to consider others and my motivations, needs, values, feelings and attitudes
I will not say and do anything that will cause bad attitudes or further complicate problem(s) and concerns
I will always strive to honour my word and any commitments I make
I will attempt to appreciate how those who have concerns about me feel and why they feel the way they do, believing that their needs are valid simply because they see them as such
I am committed to finding a workable solution/outcome to dissolve concerns of others
I am open to help and development as I discover aspects of my thinking, behaviour, and attitudes that need to change
An elegant outcome
I will always aim for outcomes from my interactions and negotiations with others that are mutually beneficial and fair
A culture of honour takes time to develop so these qualities need to be discussed, owned, and practiced until they become habitual. When such qualities are enthusiastically and seriously embraced into any culture, they take relationships and teamwork to a new level not previously experienced.
Senior PastorKenmore Baptist Church