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Developing A Church Mission Statement

Developing A Church Mission Statement April 27, 2014Leave a comment
church mission statement

As you are developing a church mission statement, you will need to be clear on your apostolic mission. This helps the church know what to do to see success, and is essential for it to function as a healthy apostolic church.

What is church mission?

In short, the mission is what you do – “we exist to..” The mission is focused on the present and what we need to be doing. A church mission is functional and purposeful. It informs and speaks to the head tends to be ‘known’, in the sense it is understood cerebrally. A mission makes today clear and is like a job description, bringing direction to what needs to be done. 

An effective mission statement answers the following question:

To whom, or where, has God sent us? 

To what place, or what people, are we called to reach? What part of this Great Commission is our responsibility?

When we know the answer, we must focus on it relentlessly and faithfully. That is how we ensure we remain ‘on mission’.

Why is a church mission statement important?

A mission statement brings awareness, clarity, and focus on God’s unique call to the church, for both leaders and the people.

What are the benefits of a church mission statement?

  1. A mission statement provides the bedrock for the church to discern its God-given vision.
  2. A mission statement enables the church to identify the values it needs for success.
  3. A mission statement aids the church in implementing the right structural form and function.
  4. A mission statement enables the church to correctly discern priorities.

What happens if a church mission statement is lacking?

Resources, time, energy and money are spent on activity God hasn’t called the church to do.

How do we develop a church mission statement?

  1. Write it as a team. This ensures that other perspectives shape it, making it better thought through. It will also be owned by the team that have input into it. Clearer language will be another benefit, which helps with articulation and communication.
  2. Answer the key question. Why do you exist? Specifically, who or where has God called you to disciple? Think through your church and its part in the Great Commission. What was the call of God to the people or person who founded the church? “We exist to” is a good example of how a mission statement could begin.
  3. Write in a present and active tense. It’s a job description, so something you should be doing today. If it’s not, it could be a vision statement instead. It’s also an activity – what you are doing. It isn’t a passive or reactive statement.
  4. Be short and sharp. If it isn’t memorable, it won’t be remembered! It should be simple and smart, saying what God is asking you to do. Brevity is clarity! Andy Stanley says that ‘memorable is portable’, meaning people will take it with them as they live their lives.
  5. Speak plainly. Don’t use Christian jargon or theological terms. If a twelve-year-old, a new Christian, or a non-christian wouldn’t understand it, you need to simplify it.
  6. Get the majority buy-in. You might not get everyone to like what you come up with, but if you get the majority of those involved in the process, that will be key to ensuring the mission statement has sufficient backing to be accepted across the church.

This post is part of a series on Healthy Principles For Church Organisational Structure. You can see links to the others posts in this series here.

  1. What constitutes a healthy church organisational structure?
  2. Be clear on the difference between mission and vision
  3. Develop a mission statement
  4. Develop a vision statement
  5. Develop a core values statement
  6. Develop a leadership structure

To find out the current health of your church in these areas, I have developed a free church health assessment. You can take it by clicking here.

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