Before any church gets serious about a mission statement, there are some fundamental principles that must be wrestled with and accepted. Failure to think through these principles will result in half-hearted efforts to discover a mission for your congregation and less-than-half-hearted efforts to implement that mission into the very DNA of your church. Without these concepts and commitments firmly in place, the process of mission development is doomed to futility.
In this series of articles, I outline five principles that form the foundation of effective mission statements:
- The Power of Focus (setting a defined and specific mission for the church is not only an act of faithfulness but is also the best recipe for effectiveness)
- The Need for Balance (the church has broad responsibilities that cannot be ignored, even when a congregation is committed to being focused in its ministries)
- The One Body (what if no one congregation has to “do it all” because it is part of a larger Body–the Church Universal?)
- The Importance of Alignment (a church can have diverse ministries yet still maintain an effective focus, a primary emphasis)
- The Integrity of “No” (a mission that does not insert discipline and accountability into church decision making is not a mission worth having)