The Importance Of A Mission Statement

mission statement“Oh, no…another thing to do!”  I can hear you now.  it seems like forming a mission statement is just one more in a long list of to-do items.  Why should this take precedent over anything else?

A mission statement is a statement meant to define the aims and values of an organization.   A good mission statement contains at least those two components…aims and values.  It is a shared statement, which means that everyone should agree on those items.

A mission statement is different from other leadership tools in that it is a shared set of ideals every activity undertaken by the organization is expected to adhere.  This works for the church in three very specific ways.

First, any activity that does not further the goal of one or more of the provisions of the mission statement make that program or ministry a liability.  In other words, you can look at the activities and ministries of a church and determine if you are wasting time and energy on something that really needs to be put somewhere else.  There is an old saying that ‘sacred cow makes the best hamburger’.  Sometimes a ministry or program is cherished not because it is working or because it has furthered the church as a whole, but simply because ‘we have always done it this way’.  Having a good mission statement helps identify those areas.

Second, any existing program can be ranked in terms of it’s contribution to the mission statement.  If four core values are articulated in the mission statement and a ministry contributes to one value, while another contributes to three…you can judge their relative value.  This is one tool (but only one) that might help make decisions about where to allocate resources.

Third, any new ministry can be assessed by it’s relation to the mission statement.  If someone suggests a program a first line criteria for approval should be ‘Does the program or ministry align itself with our values and aims as put forth in the mission statement?’  If yes, then further discussion can take place.  If no, then further discussion should not be needed.

Mission statements can be a real time saver in the end, and allow you to have a more focused and effective ministry.  Anything that can do that is worth it’s weight in gold to a bivocational minister!


Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

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