Discerning Your Values

Values are an expression of your inner workings. Articulating values is essential to understanding what’s really important to you as a small group facilitator. And that starts with knowing what’s important to you personally. Our own experiences, our relationship with Jesus, and our culture will all play a part in our unique values system. Those values come out in everything we do: our parenting, our workplace relationships, and the way we lead small groups.

Bill Hybels writes in Axiom, “If a particular issue elicits a passing opinion but not your most passionate activism, if it raises your curiosity but doesn’t rile you up enough to do something about it, then it’s not a core-of-my-being issue. But if it sets off a seismic shift in your inner person that you can feel from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, then you’ve got a core-of-my-being issue on your hands.”

Knowing your values in a small group will increase your self awareness and attune you to understanding your responses to and impressions of the group experience. And it will help you understand why others may respond differently. For example, someone who values staying on task and completing the study may become impatient with lengthy sharing times, while someone who values building relationships and going deeper into people’s lives may welcome those times.

Small groups are about relational and spiritual growth. Notice both components: relationships and Christian spirituality. I believe everyone will lean either toward either the Scripture/God/spiritual growth side or the relational/sharing/caring side.

Look at the list of values below and choose the top five values you have when it comes to leading a group. Try to write a one-sentence description of what each of the five means to you. Values adapted from Finding the Flow by Tara Miller and Jenn Peppers, pp. 219-220.

  • Accountability
  • Addressing tough issues
  • Admitting failure
  • Advanced planning
  • Asking forgiveness
  • Autonomy
  • Being believed in
  • Believing in others
  • Challenging one another
  • Confronting others
  • Developing other leaders
  • Efficient use of time
  • Ensuring a smooth flow
  • Excitement
  • Feeling equipped/ready
  • Food and fun
  • Forgiveness
  • Freedom of expression
  • Giving opportunities to potential new leaders
  • Grace
  • Having the answers
  • Holding to the stated agenda
  • Intellectual depth
  • Intimacy
  • Large numbers
  • Life change
  • Momentum
  • Openness
  • Powerful moments
  • Purity
  • Quality
  • Reconciliation
  • Redemption
  • Relationship
  • Respecting others
  • Risk
  • Scripture alone
  • Sense of humor
  • Serving others
  • Social opportunities
  • Speaking into each others’ lives
  • Vulnerability
  • Willingness to shift direction
  • Work of the Spirit


  1. What did you learn about yourself?
  2. How does knowing your values affect your role as a facilitator/leader?
  3. Does this help explain some of the discussions you’ve had in your small group lately?

Posted on March 15, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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