What is the difference between mission and vision statements, and does your church need them? The simple answer is yes, and both statements can be very beneficial for your congregation. Today we’ll talk about mission statements for churches, why they’re essential, and the steps to follow when you want to draft one. We also share the most critical differences between a vision and a mission statement because many people confuse the two and think of them as the same thing. Finally, we’ll help your process with the eight excellent statement examples we included in the blog.
What Is a Church Mission Statement?
Before we get more in-depth, let’s define the term “mission statement” for churches. This is usually a short statement made of one or several sentences that explain the DNA of the congregation and the purpose of the organization. It’s actually a paragraph that answers the questions: “What do we do?” “ Whom do we serve?” “How do we serve them?” and “What do we want to achieve?”. This statement is a path that all the churchgoers, members, staff, preachers, leaders will follow to reach future goals. People’s values and principles should be aligned with the ones of the congregation.
Why Is a Church Mission Statement Important?
How do you expect people to believe what you preach and let you guide them if they don’t know your mission? A Christian mission statement is essential because it strongly emphasizes your congregation’s purpose, why the establishment exists, and what you aim to achieve. Just like any other mission statement, it can help people understand your core values, what you can do for the community, your global contribution, and your principles.
- A Helpful Tool to Lead the Way
Since your statement will include the church’s core values, ethics, and goals, it will serve you and the members as a roadmap towards the future.
- Gives Your Church Identity
You’re much more than a building where believers gather! Your church needs a recognizable identity people will love and promote. If new individuals stumble upon your church, they’ll want to know all about it, including what you stand for, principles, values, goals, and purpose.
- Creates Unity
Most churches are divided into various ministries, but they all have the same purpose and mission. Having a mission statement represents unity and will let people know that you’re all a part of the same organization.
- Helps You Make a Difference
If people know what you strive for, they’re more likely to join your mission. Writing a clear statement will let them know about your goals and that multiple people will do things faster than an individual.
How to Develop a Church Mission Statement?
How to write a church mission statement if you have no previous experience and this is the first one you’re developing? The process of crafting a statement can be lengthy, but you and all the other members who will be a part of it should think things through very well. This is a sentence or a paragraph that represents the congregation, mission, and values and will compel more and more people to join you on the way to fulfilling the vision.
- Gather Everyone
After you go through our guide, gather all the core church members, the leadership, church board, and brainstorm. You need everyone’s opinion because most people present at the meeting will offer a different perspective and many great ideas.
- Write Down Words
Aside from writing down the ideas, you should also focus on crafting a list of words people often mention in your church. The language you use should be easy to understand, without complicated terms that people rarely use. These words will slowly roll into sentences that explain how your church will live out the plan of Jesus, what you can do for people, why you want people to support your mission, and the future goals you want to achieve.
Another thing you should opt for is making the statement memorable. Once people read it, they should be impressed with it and want to write it down or remember it. This will stimulate them to spread the word and bring new members. In addition, the mission statement isn’t a business plan; instead, it’s a short paragraph that sticks and is easy to spread.
Crafting a statement requires a lot of conversation, brainstorming, but everyone present should speak their mind and embrace the process. Then, let the final version sink in before you decide.
- Set Achievable Goals
Your goals should be long-term and achievable. You don’t want the church members to focus on fulfilling goals that are hard to reach and being disappointed if they feel like they can’t. For example, if one of your goals is to provide food for people in need, ensure that it’s a number that you and the members can actually fulfill. If you do better than expected, churchgoers will feel even happier and more satisfied with their work.
You have to create a clear structure of what you want to achieve and follow it. This will stimulate the members to do even better, help more, and get a sense of personal fulfillment each time your congregation goes a step higher.
The goals should be long-term; otherwise, you’ll have to change your mission and vision statements too often. Seeing the big picture helps the members see that you have a serious mission and that your actions are well-planned. As you grow, you can set new goals, and update the statements.
- Read It Out Loud
When the statement is done, read it out loud in front of everyone. It might sound great in your head, but be a total flop when you read it. This statement should be easy to remember and read, and people should associate it with your church.
What Is the Difference Between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement?
Mission statements for churches and vision statements are two different things. Actually, these statements are completely different, regardless of what you need to write them for. First of all, mission and vision statements have different purposes. Secondly, the way you draft them is not the same. Finally, their meaning is different, even though many people tend to intertwine and confuse the words.
A mission statement is a short statement that explains why your organization exists and its purpose. On the other hand, a vision statement describes the church’s vision and what the organization hopes to achieve in the future. In general, these two differ because the mission is oriented towards the present, while the vision is future-oriented.
Most people prefer to start writing their mission statement first, then work on the vision statement. Although there is no specific order you should follow, it’s an excellent idea to work the mission because it will set the foundation for crafting a successful vision statement. Another way to go is to include the vision statement in your mission statement.
Both statements can change over time, and that’s not a mistake. As the goals, values, ethics, and rules of your congregation change, so will the statements. There’s nothing wrong with updating and changing these phrases because it will help people understand the organization even better and feel closer to what you want to achieve. However, vision statements change more often, contrary to mission statements. The purpose and values are generally the same and can only go through minor changes over time.
Examples of Church Mission Statements
If you’re still confused and unsure about what a successful statement looks like, we’re here to help. Go over these excellent examples, and you’ll get a better idea of what you should include in your statement and how long it should be.
- Inviting everyone to join our path towards knowing Jesus and letting Jesus get to know us all.
- Helping people create an everlasting bond with Jesus.
- Guiding you to find your way back to God, one day at a time!
- Praising Jesus’ will through sports, building strong communities, and unbreakable bonds.
- Leading you on the path to redemption and turning non-believers into disciples and passionate followers.
- To be the church that not only follows Jesus, but also feeds hungry mouths and provides a warm shelter for homeless people.
- Inspire people to always lend a giving hand to the broken souls that need help and guidance.
- Magnify Jesus’s name, influence the large mass, follow the Bible, and change the mindset of non-believers.
Writing the best church mission statements takes time and dedication, but it is something influential churches are willing to do. If you read the article, you’re now aware of how important and beneficial this statement can be for your congregation. Yes, you have to go through the process, discuss it with other members, and brainstorm a lot before you decide on the final version, but it’s something the best churches out there do. Write down all the ideas, the words that explain your mission, strategy, goals, purpose, and wrap everything up in a few sentences. Then, read the statement out loud, and you’ll immediately know if it’s the right one.
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