Reflections on Mission Statements
The Spring 2007 issue of Ockenga Connections, put out by Gordon-Conwell Seminary, has a great article on churches and mission statements.
The article describes the problems with mission statements, and it suggests a better way: for the church to seek, “with great intentionality, the character and behavior God has laid out clearly in Scripture, and to bring the qualities of character and behavior to memory through worship, teaching, and personal interaction.” The article quotes Eugene Peterson’s Working the Angles – always a good thing – and includes some thoughts that need to be repeated every time a church begins a vision process:
Intend that the priority in church life is character and spiritual health – not program and organization. There is not much point in having the latter if the former isn’t present…
Think first of the church as the people of God, rather than as an organization defined by programs and goals. Then think of those experiences that are necesssary for the maturing and development of all the people of God, including the children…
Church as a corporation is not a complete expression of the church…Scripture is not clear on the types of organization that should characterize a church. The Scripture is, however, very clear about the character and behavior that should characterize the people of God. This is what must not be lost in any planning process.
This article is a welcome change from what we normally read about churches and mission statements.