First a word about most church mission statements.
They’re beautifully word smithed
They’re suitable for framing.
But a mission statement that’s suitable for framing, is rarely a mission statement that’s suitable for much of anything else.A mission statement that's Suitable For Framing, is rarely a mission statement that's suitable for much of anything else. @billtb Click To Tweet
A quick reminder that the founder of the church is the one who set its mission and that mission can be summed up in two words: Make Disciples.
Now, a church can pretty that up in a lot of different ways – and churches should make their mission statement as impactful and memorable and inspiring as possible. But the core of every faithful church mission statement must reflect the prime directive (yes, I’m a Trekkie – and if you’re not watching Star Trek: Strange New Worlds you’re missing out!).
Okay, now a word about implementation of your church’s mission statement: If you have a multiple choice mission statement, making disciples will be depreciated. Here’s an example:
The Mission of First Church is to worship God, to make disciples of Jesus, and to serve the world.https://effectivechurch.com/mission-statements/
That sounds really good. Worship, Service, and Make Disciples. What’s at fault?
The answer can be found in the City Slickers film:
Yes, a congregation needs to worship.
Yes, a congregation needs to serve.
Yes, a congregation needs to make disciples.
And yes, if you rank them in order of importance in terms of mission, making disciples would be (should be) on top.
But that’s not how it gets played out. Whenever you have a multiple choice mission statement, the church will relegate disciple making to the level of irrelevance.
Every time.When you have a multiple choice mission statement, the church will relegate disciple-making to the level of irrelevance. @billtb Click To Tweet
And though the church may couch everything it does in terms of “mission,” the energy will go into creating a great worship service and in providing service ministries.
“But those ministries make disciples, right?”
In the words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for you?”
Unless you’re making the main thing the Main Thing, anything and everything will get in the way of making disciples.
So, when it’s time to rework your mission statement, remember the KISS principle … Keep It Succinctly Simple:
- Focus on the Prime Directive
- Make the statement transparently clear
- Keep it to “one thing”
We’ve put together a succinct Developing Your Church’s Mission Workbook for pastors and church professionals that you can get by posting I Need Mission in the Next Level with BillTB Facebook Group.