Continuing the series on trying to wrap our minds around the concept of being strategic with our churches and efforts in order to fully anthem the name of Christ as a community of believers. Remember, I also believe a lot of this applies to organizations, companies, and projects that we manage. I hope that you find some of this stuff helpful, and at least provoking. If not, bear with me…there’ll be some additional posts along the way that you may resonate with. On to this week’s understanding:
UNDERSTANDING LOCAL MISSION
The mission of a church (or organization, project, event, etc.) is the unique calling and alignment of a particular church community. A church’s mission is how that church will align itself to engage its current culture and surroundings with God and His kingdom. Mission is the unique way that a faith community will breathe, work, sacrifice, dream, and energize people to fulfill God’s vision of attracting people to Him and His kingdom.
While God’s vision is static and global, the individual mission of a church is ever-evolving and local. Mission is developed by the situations, culture, and contexts surrounding the individual church community. It is the positioning of a church community to fully respond to God’s vision.
While vision is equipping, mission is energizing. While a lack of a clearly defined mission results in burn-out, in-fighting, and minimal successes; a clearly defined mission results in unity, energy, and measurable results. While no mission is detrimental, mission is contagiously influential. How much different would our churches be if there were a clear movement and mission guiding them, rather than vagaries and vague definitions of God’s call?
Developing the Mission
The mission of a church community is developed with the end in mind. A mission isn’t a generic and far-away concept, rather is is a pointing and aligning toward an attainable goal. It should not be intimidating, nor should it be a pipe-dream. Once the mission is formed, it must be clearly defined with its’ wins. For instance, assume that this mission of our church is to ‘lead others to passionately connect with God, others, and purpose.’ For this mission to begin to energize our church culture, we must clearly and concisely consider and define:
- Is this sentence communicating exactly what we want, or is it too intimidating? Is it concise, or is it too wordy? Will this sentence connect with the language in our culture?
- Assuming the answer is yes (remember, this is an example) to the above is ‘yes’, what do we mean by the phrase ‘passionately connect’?
- What does it look like for someone to passionately connect with God? With others? With purpose?
- What are the indicators that we are going to look for to measure a member’s growth with this mission? How are will this mission align our programs, ministries, and events?
When the mission is clearly defined and effectively taught, a church can begin to evaluate current programs, ministries, structures, and systems against the mission of the community. At this point the mission becomes more than a statement written on paper and printed on letterheads, and becomes the breath and DNA of a particular community.
Do you know the mission of your church or organization? I’d love to hear from you!