Monday, July 17, 2006

Moving Past Church Mission Statements to the True Work . . .

Words matter. However for many in the church, time spent on congregational mission statements is a very frustrating experience. I think that is largely because most congregations are not truly ready to fully engage in that process because there are too many underlying issues in their group. The "word-smithing" of a mission statement becomes a way to fight out the larger issues in the congregation without every acknowledging they are there.
Another problem can come when the congregation comes up with a "All Babies Must Eat" mission statement--something no one disagrees with, but is just so perfectly obvious you wonder why you need to put it in print.
As I've been thinking about these issues without he church, I'm again drawn to the work of Bill Easum. He has a great article talking about "Clarifying Our Mission, Vision, and Values." All three are important and Easum acknowledges the hard work to discern where God is calling a congregation. Definitely worth a read.

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