Our church has begun a process to clarify our mission and develop a vision strategy. Some people may find this process much ado about nothing, but in reality it is very critical to the future of our church. A mission statement is not the foundation or “brick and mortar” of the church- the Word of God is- but it does help to be more discerning about why we are a local church in the first place. It also helps us to recognize the uniqueness of our church and the unique way we can carry out the Great Commission in our specific context. I’ve been reading a book called The Healthy Small Church by Dennis Bickers (pgs 32-42) and he proposes four reasons why churches should flesh out their vision in something like a clarified mission statement:
1. Vision provides focus.
2. Vision unites the church.
3. Vision enables people to move beyond their own self-interests.
4. Vision allows the church to be proactive rather than reactive.
There are two things that I have noticed among some of our people that really concern me. I see complacency among some and aimlessness among others. Like many other churches wrestle with there is dangerous comfort level that hinders our drive toward fulfilling our gospel mission as a church. There are also many people doing many different things but not necessary out of a sense of direction or purpose. Our church is full of godly people and people who love the Lord, but we do not want to waste what God has given us here. We want to be people with a vision for what God has uniquely called us to. We want to let the Word continue to challenge us to not ease into complacency but press on as soldiers of truth in the last days. We want to be people who move together, in unity, with common purpose. Busy is not the same as effective. So we are trying to develop a mission statement and vision strategy to keep us on task and keep us accountable to be the church God has called us to be.