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What (Church) Mission Statements Do

by on July 12, 2009

In preparation for writing our mission statement, we considered the following criteria:

  1. In general, mission statements identify us to outsiders, using language that is accessible, and letting them know, in sum, what we’re about. It answers: Why do we exist? What is our purpose?
  2. It should compel behavior that is aligned with the mission, i.e., it should tell insiders what we are to do.
  3. It should imply an evaluation or assessment mechanism, such that, at the end of a period of time, we can look back and determine if we have been faithful to the mission.
  4. A church mission statement should be Trinitarian, explicitly or implicitly.
  5. It should be related to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
  6. In relation to the congregation and our denomination, it should honor the past, be faithful to the present, and privilege the (new) future.
  7. It should highlight the ongoing revelation of God’s Word to us, incarnated in the life of Jesus Christ.
  8. It should be easily memorized.

Given these criteria, Faith Presbyterian Church revised its mission statement to the following:

We follow Christ as Lord, relying on the Spirit’s guidance and worshiping God with our lives by serving our neighbors, cultivating community, and inviting others to join the exploration of faith.

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