6 Helpful Hints When Developing a Mission Statement

I have been a church planter now for over a decade and one thing that I’ve learned through it all is that if you don’t have a clear-cut vision/mission (or whatever you want to call it) statement, you will end up having sort of an identity crisis as a church. We faced this in Tampa over the past couple of years. Our initial vision statement was sort of a cookie cutter/piece meal job that really didn’t flow out of what our true identity was. Some of the wording was ambiguous (were we a collegiate church plant or a church plant that desired to be multi-generational, including the least reached demographic – University students?) and outdated (The word “relevant” actually made the cut…I know, I ought to be ashamed of myself.) and it wasn’t super easy to remember or communicate, therefore making it impossible for our people to hear, memorize, learn, and live out.

A couple months ago, while reading Scripture, praying, and thinking through who God had called Aletheia Church to be, two words came into my head; rescue and reconcile. I immediately knew that these two words best represented our church’s culture. This was our mission. Jesus came to rescue and reconcile and that is exactly what He had called us to be a part of here in Tampa. What came of those two words was finally a definitive statement.

“Aletheia is a group of people called out for a specific purpose: To see Jesus rescue and reconcile people who do not know Him in Tampa and around the world.”

 

And here is the explanation behind our statement (also very concise):
Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Colossians 1:19-20 “For in him (Christ) all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

In Ephesians 1:23 the church is given a name and a job description. It says that we are Jesus’ “body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” This means we are the overflow or the extension of Jesus on the earth. This is the commission and the command Jesus gave before He ascended to heaven to take His rightful position as ruler over everything. Since Jesus came to earth to rescue and reconcile people (that was HIS mission; HIS job), we don’t have to be confused about what we should be doing.

We will accomplish this mission by loving, worshiping, and glorifying God first, and then by loving others next (Matthew 22:37-39). We will WIN people by proclaiming and displaying the gospel (1 Cor 9:19-22; 1 Pe. 2:9,12). We will BAPTIZE people in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19). We will DISCIPLE people to know Jesus more intimately (Matthew 28:20). We will EQUIP people to use the gifts and the tools that God has given them for His glory (Ephesians 4:12). We will MOBILIZE people and send them out to be a part of God’s mission (Acts 13:3).

Here are a few things to consider upon developing a vision/mission statement for your church:

#1 – Develop one (thought this was a given but you’d be surprised)

#2 – Make sure it reflects YOUR church’s culture

#3 – Limit it to one sentence, two at the most

#4 – Use language/wording that will allow others to communicate it effectively

#5 – Avoid using trendy language (after 3 years, you’ll be THAT church; you know, the one that uses the word “relevant” or even worse, “contemporary”, in your mission statement)

#6 – Make sure it is biblical (thought this would be automatic but once again, you’d be surprised)

 

2 Comments

  • Phil Kassel says:

    Great post man! Very well written and the points are great and right on. Loved it! Vision that is clearly communicated sticks!

  • I like your mission statement. And I would add that we all need rescuing hourly from our attempts at getting right with God. I just read a JB Phillips translation of Romans 10: 1-4 Verse 4 is stunning

    For Christ means the end of the struggle for righteouness-by-the-Law for everyone who believes in him.

    We all struggle to prove our rightness with God.

    May your flock be blessed by the Truth you and your team teach week after week.

    Maria in Newport News, VA

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