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Rule of

OUR

Life of

Convictions and Practices of the Leadership Team


Our Priorities God | Ourselves | Family & Friends | Others 2


Introduction

Ministry is a grind.

For some, church life has become a spiritual help desk, an endless list of exhausting activities. We enter into it with pure motives and often exit it with frustration, disappointment, burn out, even anger. While it is easy to point fingers at senior leaders, boards and endless demands from God’s people, the only place we should be looking is in the mirror. Ministry is leading Others, God’s people, the flock. Yet, truth be told, many of us have never really learned how to lead Ourselves. The booklet in your hand is our attempt to lead Ourselves. It is our endeavor to care for Ourselves, maintain healthy Families and keep ministry a joy for the long haul. Rather than concede to unstated external and internal pressures that often drive us to unhealthy places, we have decided to establish priorities and boundaries. Often times, our ambitions take us to places God never sanctioned. God…Ourselves…Family|Friends…Others. These are our priorities in descending order. For too long, we have neglected the first three to serve the fourth. Our souls have run dry, our bodies are fatigued, our families strained. From this day on, we declare that our Rule of Life will be God…Ourselves…Family|Friends…Others. 3


Life

Rule of

OUR

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Our Declarations Our ministry to God is our primary concern and goes throughout the day. We schedule space in our work day to pause and reflect in His presence. We are responsible for our emotional health. We refuse to blame others or the pressures of our job for the weariness of our soul. We give Ourselves permission and space in our week to replenish. We acknowledge we have problems with healthy limits. We trust God to care for the needs of Others when we cannot. We will not sacrifice our Families on the altar of ministry. We slow down our lives to ensure that we are living at a healthy and sustainable pace. As Others submit to our care, we choose to submit to another’s care to ensure sustainability and health.

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Our Ministry to God { Our First Priority }

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We declare that our ministr y to God is our highest priority, the activity of utmost importance each day. Too many ministers “use” God to do the work of ministry. Sure, prayers are said each day and yes, the Bible is constantly opened. But the purpose of such activities is for Others. Prayer becomes a courtesy call to heaven to open and close meetings. God’s word becomes a “spell book” we access to solicit cures for life’s ailments. Rarely, do we approach heaven simply to bask in God’s glory, to enjoy His presence, to join with all creation in paying homage to the God of the universe. In both the Old and New Testaments, those called into ministry – whether Levites, priests, musicians or Apostles – separated themselves from the business of life to enter into the business of heaven. God calls the entire earth to rejoice in His works and His character. For those of us in ministry, we see it as our calling to lead the procession. It is our job to worship God each day and lead a worshipping community. We also acknowledge that God has “needs” in this world, that He longs to see His kingdom liberate this planet from its many infirmities. Mysteriously and graciously, God has chosen us to advance His cause. He invites us into His work. We have been called to an appointed task. Thus, we choose to sit daily at His feet to glean His heart for the work He longs to manifest through us in the city He yearns to reach. 7


Our Convictions We determine to keep our love for Christ central above all other activities. We minister first to God. Like priests in the Old Testament, our primary task is to foster and promote the presence of God in our midst. We choose to lead out of a deep interior life with God. We are proclaimers of the Word. We aspire to speak from fresh inspiration. While we may glean from others, we seek God’s fresh “manna” for today. We are both engineers and artists. We design and create. Ideas, good ones that shape a community, are birthed in deep places that are not often accessible without healthy spiritual rhythms. We don’t presume spiritual practices. We go after them, looking for the best practices for today.

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Our Practices Daily We pause to be with God two to three times a day to remember Him, spending time in communion with Him, preferably in Scripture, silence, meditation and prayer. Fasting We yield to the call to regularly pray and fast, both individually and collectively. A Holy Pause One day a month, we will step out of our routines to spend the day with God, ensuring we are fulfilling His needs, His wants and His ways. Flexing our Days When life is chaotic and we find Ourselves running on fumes, we give Ourselves permission to flex our schedule to connect with God.

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Our Ministry to Ourselves { Rest & Replenishment }

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We cannot pass on to others what we do not have. Jesus said “to love our neighbor as ourself” – or to say it another way, “Give others the same tender care and pampering you often give to yourself.” This charge by Jesus is problematic for many workers in the church since they have not learned to care for themselves. Lack of sleep, “workaholism,” neglect of exercise, busyness, and the absence of social activities are unfortunate casualities of a life called by God. Few know how they truly feel, primarily because their view of faith does not give them permission to feel. Warning lights are flashing but there is no time to address them. Ministry becomes an excuse why they can’t take care of their bodies or their souls. There is no fun in life. Worse yet, they are friendless and alone. We see ministry to Self as so essential that we prioritize it above our ministry to our Family|Friends and Others. We refuse to “fake” sincerity or compassion. We choose to minister to Others from a fresh experience with God. We see fun, laughter, play, even joking around as necessary “spiritual” activities. We vow to honor God-ordained limits that include weekly Sabbath breaks. We believe saying “no” is okay, even healthy. We give Ourselves permission to replenish, and at times, even pamper Ourselves. Life is too short and ministry too demanding to live life any other way.

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Our Convictions We reject the lie that to love God is to abuse Ourselves that the pressures and demands of ministry supersede care for Ourselves. Since God gave us a day off, we choose to take it. We will prepare for the Sabbath beforehand so we can fully rest. We seek to find those activities that replenish us. We believe care for the physical body is a necessary spiritual practice. We see fun, laughter, feasting, and pampering as an essential part of discipleship. We invite into our lives someone who will care for us by asking questions no one else will.

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Our Practices

Sabbath We trust God to build His church| school and respect Sabbath-keeping as an essential formation discipline in our lives. We cease from our work to stop, rest, delight and contemplate. We prepare for the Sabbath by doing the “work” of life beforehand. Play and Recreation We give Ourselves permission to engage in activities and settings outside of VCC | VCS that replenish us. Simplicity We choose to streamline our lives from “entanglements” that suck life from us, whether that is material goods that demand ongoing attention or participation in activities that drain us. Care for the Physical Body We seek regular care for our physical bodies through healthy eating habits, consistent exercise and sufficient amounts of sleep, respecting our God-given limits. Discipleship | Coaching We give to many; few are giving to us. We ask Others the key questions of life; rarely does anyone ask us. We choose to meet with someone monthly who will ask us about our faith, family, finances, fitness, friends, ministry and work.

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Our Ministry to Family & Friends { Enjoying Those Near To Us }

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Ministry has a cost, but some church leaders pay a price God never asked them to pay. For the sake of the church, marriages have dissolved, children have become estranged and friendships fractured. The pressure to project “family health” has caused some to ignore the warning signs in their home life. The lack of boundaries has made the home a remote version of the church office. Few ministers maintain relationships with those outside the church. Regrettably, the church becomes a “mistress” to other relationships. It is our desire to see our call to God’s work enhance – not deter from – our home and our social lives. We resolve not only to stay married, but to remain in love. We desire to grow in devotion and affection with our spouses, jealously guarding this sacred space from all competing voices and demands. We determine to live in such a way that our children will love the church, not simply tolerate it or be jealous of it. We give our children space to find themselves and make mistakes. They are not called to ministry – we are. We need social settings outside the church and we give Ourselves permission to go there. There are times when we need to not lead, but to follow, to not be the focus, but simply be a part, to not be giving, but to be receiving. 15


Our Convictions We desire high quality marriages, out of which we are able to minister to Others. Many of our spouses have interests beyond the church; we seek to support their pursuit of these interests in the same way they support our calling. We welcome our children into the ministry world we serve and love. Recognizing there are delicate times where it would be inappropriate for us to invite them, we want our children to see and love the beautiful community to which God has called us. They did not ask to be pastors’ kids (“pk’s”), nor do we claim they are “called” into ministry, but they certainly share the sacrifices and pressures of ministry. We will foster and maintain relationships that fill us. There is a social stigma in the church against singles, suggesting that they are incomplete or hindered in doing God’s work because they lack a spouse or family. We believe in the equal value of God’s call to both singleness and marriage.

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Our Practices Marriage Strengthening Ministry strains marriages. We all feel it. Therefore, we agree to take time away to build into the marriage covenant with our spouse ordained for us by God. Counseling We choose to seek help when we need it. We view counseling like going to the doctor. When we need support in our marriage, we will go find it. Children We recognize the unique place our children share as “pk’s” and will create gatherings and events to bless our kids. Friends We agree to take time away to build into the friendships|relationships in which God has invited us to share and to love.

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Our Ministry to Others { Our Calling to God’s People }

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God…Ourselves…Family|Friends…Others. The sequence is critical. Too often, we neglect the first three (God, Ourselves and Family|Friends) in order to do the fourth (Others). We resolve to love Others from the inspiration and replenishment we get from the first three; to minister to God’s people from a position of abundance rather than emptiness. They deserve our best and we determine to give it to them. Ministry is too sacred to fake sincerity, project compassion or pretend focus. We do not recruit people for our ministry. Our job is to serve God’s calling in people. We value each person’s design and consider it a privilege to use our gifts, abilities, and authority to see them succeed. We choose to view the entire organization and then our part in it. We reject silos and aim to do our part in order to see our teammates succeed. When we need help, we will ask for it, realizing that we all share in this sacred work entrusted to us. Since our effectiveness is tied to our relationships with one another, we strive to clear up all conflict quickly. We vow to speak to the person face to face, not about the person to someone else.

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Our Convictions We recognize that we cannot provide what people ultimately need. What we can provide is focus, care, reminders and prayer. We will defer to each other, considering our teammates more important and better than Ourselves. We embrace God’s diversity in the team and work to create an atmosphere where each person can be “fully them” without pressure to conform or deny their God-given design. We refuse to live in a silo by safeguarding our corner of the world at the expense of the entire ministry. We choose to lead by skill and gifting rather than title or office. The best-suited person should take the lead.

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Our Practices Equipping God’s people are the true heroes of the church, the primary means by which He extends His love and compassion to this needy world. As leaders in the church and school, our job is to identify, mature, and release God’s calling in those sent our way. Compassion and Healing The church is a sanctuary, a refuge to find healing and compassion. We strive to foster a setting where people can find cures to life’s ailments as well as comfort to life’s losses. Conflict We choose to resolve conflict quickly, always contending for reconciliation and healing. We will abide by the words of Jesus to go to our team member privately rather than someone else. Team Mentality While called to focus on one particular aspect of the ministry, we choose to view the entire organization and support other areas when the need arises. We will volunteer and serve our teammates when they host big events or find themselves struggling to maintain the home-front in order to serve the church.

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Our Benefits Valley Christian Center and Valley Christian Schools honor this

Rule of Life by providing time, flexibility to schedules and – budget permitting – monetary funds, to aid in this endeavor. As an institution, we believe it is our job to care and support those God has called to lead on this Hill. We stand in support of our leaders and free them to pursue the objectives stated in this booklet.

VCC Board of Deacons

Dr. Roger Valci, Chairman and Lead Pastor Dave Johnson, Chief Operations Officer John Deming, Vice-Chairman Sandy Cooper, Treasurer John Kiser, Secretary Juan Garcia, Member Prem Williams, Member Ramez Bahu, Member David Cariveau, Business Administrator

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VCS School Board Dr. Roger Valci, Superintendent of Schools Dave Johnson, Chief Operations Officer Michelle Anderson, Member Lisa Ludden, Member Margaret McCollum, Member Domingos Mendes, Member Pierre Monnier, Member Cindy Silva, Member


Declaration OUR

As leaders of Valley Christian Center and Valley Christian Schools, we publicly state the course we choose to live before God and His people. Our intent is not to boast on where we are going, but to explain to those we serve why we live the way we do. With God’s help and by the power of the Spirit, we aim to achieve the practices stated in this booklet. Church

Dr. Roger Valci, Lead Pastor Jennifer Davis, Children’s Pastor Lorraine Demmel, Executive Assistant Don Dickinson, Associate Pastor Jason Gawel, Worship Arts Pastor Anthony McLeod, Youth Pastor Aaron McNeal, Youth Pastor Jimi Merrell, Associate Pastor Cassie Tundag, Associate Pastor

Operations

Dave Johnson, Chief Operations Officer David Cariveau, Business Administrator Kelly Kindall, Director of Communications Eric Raasch, Director of Educational Technology Rene Snyder, Human Resources

Schools Dr. Roger Valci, Superintendent of Schools Pastor Larry Lopez, JH/HS Principal Joseph Smylie, JH/HS Assistant Principal Grace Hersh, Elementary Principal Lillian Kinney, Lead Preschool Director Ginny Mendes, Director of Preschool Operations & Support Lori Cantrell, Director of Admissions 23


Dr. Roger Valci is the Lead Pastor of Valley Christian Center in Dublin, California, where he is raising up five hundred ministers to reach the Tri-Valley for Jesus Christ. In 1995, he left his engineering career and traveled to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, to prepare for the pastorate. He received both his Masters of Divinity degree and his Doctorate in Preaching. In 2001, he became licensed as an Assembly of God minister, and in 2003, became ordained. Today, Roger lives in San Ramon, California, with his wife of twenty years, Janae, and his three children: Matthew (17), Taylor (14), and Erin (10). They all attend Valley Christian Schools.

7500 Inspiration Drive | Dublin, CA 94568 | www.ComeDiscoverVCC.org

Copyright 2012 | Valley Christian Center | All rights reserved.

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Our Rule of Life