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Understanding Your Mission – Your Compass

Last week I began a series of articles that center on the directional questions church leaders need to answer.  The first question is about mission – what are we to be doing as a church?  The Great Commandment and Great Commission give us the answer.  The mission of the church is not self-determined but discovered and obeyed.  Once discovered it is helpful to communicate it well and often. A distinct and well worded mission statement can be very helpful in accomplishing this. It becomes a compass that helps navigate the church and keeps it on course.  The value of a good compass is, that no matter where you are, it can help you know and stay headed in the right direction.  Without a compass it becomes extremely difficult to know which direction is the right way to go, as well as prevent you from going in circles.  Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up somewhere else.”  As leaders we are called to think through and define the mission and keep our people well informed as to why we exist and what we are supposed to be doing.  To get where God wants us to go, we need the Bible as our map and the mission as our compass.  With these tools we can then develop a statement to help articulate and communicate our “holy orders” as a congregation.  I have found the following template to be a good tool to help express a mission statement.  “The mission of our church is to…(what we do), for the purpose of…(what our objectives are), so that…(what the results will be).  It is important to be clear, distinct, simple, and strategic as you develop and communicate the mission.  I hope this is useful as you uniquely express our call to love God, love our neighbors, and make disciples.  – Dr. Gary Mathes