The story behind our Pink Church

Last Friday we inflated a bright pink church in the central city square (Vrijthof) of Maastricht in order to host a series of talks about values and a dialog about meaning. We did this to draw attention -of course- but there’s also story behind why we chose a church to be the stage of this conversation.

The word ‘church’ is derived from the ancient Greek word ecclesia. The original meaning was ‘a call to an assembly of the people’, only later did the word become a domain of the Catholic faith. The word ‘values’ in its current ethical meaning only came into use sometime during the 19th century as a way to talk about morality without having to resort to the bible and religious doctrine.


It is the history of meaning behind these words that inspires us to believe that (mostly empty) church buildings could serve as a perfect stage for a social conversation about values and a search for meaning without having to resort to religion. Especially in times of fake news and alternative facts, we hope to repurpose this cultural heritage for (for lack of better words):  a call to the assembly of the people to talk about what is good without being concerned about who is right.


To quote a dead president: we believe that a search for meaning gives wings to the better angels of human nature. Both in society and in organizations. Which is why we registered our own company (ValuesDriven) as a church with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, rather than as a company (and no, there are no tax benefits). Because we believe that every organization is a community that is driven by a shared belief about what is good and worthy of pursuit. And strengthening that community starts with the question: what do you believe in?


In the meantime we had a blast in our Pink Church in Maastricht. In a celebration of values, we were inspired once more by the recognition of what complete strangers might share without losing their individuality. Our thanks go out to FASHIONCLASH for making it possible and to Maastricht’s mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake for her contribution to our program.


If your interested in hosting the Pink Church in a quest for meaning or a talk about company values, feel free to contact us. And if you’re looking for other ways to join our values driven community, as a professional or otherwise: drop us a line.



PS. People sometimes confuse us starting a church with us being religious. We are not.

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