Churches exist for a different reason than businesses and corporations; however, they can still benefit from how the corporate world establishes and communicates intent and purpose. A church needs a mission statement to help define and rally the congregation around a unifying direction.
Writing church mission statements start with the leaders defining the purpose and focus of the church – that is, what it does and whom it serves. A mission statement should give church members a clear idea of what it takes to accomplish their goals.
Members of a church and potential visitors want to know where the church is going and what it plans to do. Keep reading to discover how to write church mission statements that inspire your congregation. Learn to craft an actionable message that clarifies your church’s mission.
How to Craft Church Mission Statements Step By Step
Proverbs 29:18 says, “where there is no vision, the people perish.” Concerning church mission statements, the idea remains the same.
Without a focused mission communicated clearly by church leadership to the congregation, the people will often drift away or conform to going through the motions. Present at the church but disengaged from actively participating.
Therefore, writing a church mission statement that clarifies your purpose is essential. A well-written statement will inspire involvement from people – to be part of the Kingdom work that is taking place.
But how do you write church mission statements that clarify and inspire? It may take time – but that’s okay. It is better to spend the extra time to get it right than revisit your statement because it doesn’t quite fit the organization.
5 Steps To Writing Church Mission Statements
1. Gather The Leadership Team
When writing the church’s mission statement, invite a small group of your church leaders, including an executive pastor, staff members, elders, or even volunteers. It’s best to keep the size of the group to around five people to help craft this statement.
Prepare the leaders by asking them to come together with humility and a willingness to be honest and open with each other.
If possible, plan a day-long or weekend retreat so everyone can set aside other responsibilities and focus on the task without distractions or time constraints.
2. Prayerfully Seek God’s Guidance Concerning The Mission
As you begin the challenging task of crafting a mission statement, it’s vital to seek God’s direction for the process and the outcome. Together, as a leadership team, seek guidance from the Lord.
3 Areas Of Prayer Focus While Writing A Church Mission Statement:
- Ask God to develop your heart for people further
- Resolve to walk in unity as a leadership team and church
- Pray for guidance to communicate the mission
3. Ask Clarifying Questions About Your Church
Establishing the church’s mission begins with its leaders asking several questions. The answers to these questions will help church leaders hone in on precisely what their church wants as the primary focus of its existence.
- What problem does your church solve?
- Whom do we serve?
- How do we do it? How do we serve them?
- What value do we add or bring to our community?
- What honorable characteristics define your church?
This process aims to understand why your church exists and how you can obey God and reach people. Answering these questions will reveal the current status and health of your church. Sometimes, the reality of the answers can sting; that’s okay.
4. Wordsmith the Mission Statement
After answering the clarifying questions as a leadership team, it’s time to craft the mission statement formally. You might think this is easy, but groups often stall or get stuck.
Helpful Writing Tips & Suggestions When Writing Church Mission Statements
- Agree as a group on a standard answer to each clarifying question.
- Assign writing the mission statement to one or two people, followed by a review process with the entire team.
- Ask each small group member to craft a mission statement and allow time for each person to share their version.
- As groups share, write their statements on a flip chart so all can see.
- Once each group has shared, start combining thoughts, ideas, and words from the individual efforts until reaching a consensus.
At this stage, team members must compromise on word choices and pragmatics. Patience is necessary as members may share strong opinions; this is where the prayers for humility and unity reveal their value.
5. Refine the Mission Statement
Continue to refine the final mission statement until all leaders agree. The goal is to have complete buy-in so that when presenting the statement to the congregation, those who crafted it completely support its adoption by the church.
Church Relevance says that “the best church mission statements are clear, memorable, and concise.”
If church mission statements are too wordy, they will not be memorable or inspire action. The statement may not adequately express your mission if it is too short. Ideally, church mission statements are only one or two sentences and less than 100 words.
4 Refining Questions To Enhance Church Mission Statements
Is the mission statement easily repeatable?
Does it state what your church prioritizes?
Is the mission statement action-oriented?
Does it provide a clear sense of direction?
Church Mission Statement Examples
Crafting a mission statement is simple, but it’s not exactly easy. One way to aid the process is to look at what other churches have done. Here are a few examples:
- Times Square Church: Make Jesus known. Love people. Pray. Make disciples. Serve.
- Church of the Highlands: Know God, Find freedom, discover your purpose, and make a difference.
- Church of the City of New York: Pursue the tangible presence of God, practice counter-formation, and live on sacrificial mission.
- Biltmore Baptist Church: We exist to glorify God by making disciples who reach up, in, and out.
- Gateway Church: Our mission is to help each person at Gateway believe in Jesus, belong to a family, become a follower, and build God’s kingdom.
- The Rock: Save, equip, and send.
- North Point Community Church: To lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Seacoast Church: To help people find God, grow their faith, discover their purpose, and make a difference
Some of these execute a clear, actionable mission statement better than others. The key is to get inspiration and craft a message representing your church.
What Is the Difference Between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement?
Mission statement or vision statement? Sometimes these two cornerstones of an effective organization seem interchangeable. If you have one, why do you need the other? That’s an understandable question if you don’t know the difference between the two. (And it’s a good idea to have both.)
Church Mission Statements
According to Sprigg HR, a mission statement is a brief description of “an organization’s core purpose, focus, and aims.” It is more about the daily work and how employees or members contribute to getting that work done.
For example, a mission statement can compare to the steering wheel of a car. The driver must steer the steering wheel in the right direction to get where you want to go.
A vision statement describes why an organization exists and how fulfilling the vision will change the community for the better. With its forward-looking, putting hopes and dreams into words, a vision statement gives members something they can aspire to achieve.
A vision statement can compare to a navigation system in a car. It provides direction concerning the destination for the driver to know where he is going to help them choose the best route.
In a nutshell, a mission statement concerns what is happening in the present, presenting answers to What? And How? while a vision statement is focused on the future and answers the question Why?
Church Mission Statements Conclusion
Your church cannot afford to drift aimlessly without a defined missional purpose. You risk losing those who want a purpose and reason to be part of your organization.
Grabbing the attention and hearts of your church members and inspiring them to join you in God’s work through your church can start with clearly communicating a concise mission statement.
Could you use more help in crafting and creating compelling messaging? Including your weekend sermons? Check out the following posts: