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Are your ministries aligned with your mission?

Every church probably has a vision and / or mission statement. We won't get too far into the weeds on the difference in a mission and vision statement, but suffice it to say every church needs some kind of guiding statement or document that clearly defines who it is, why it exists, and how it intends to achieve its goals. The vision and mission statements should guide EVERY SINGLE ACTIVITY AND PROGRAM in that church. If it doesn't align with your vision and mission, you shouldn't be doing it. Period.

The problem with such statements is that they rarely define the realities of who the church truly is. Most churches create a vision and mission statement at their inception and then don't review and amend it. So, their mission statement ends up being about who they WERE, not who they ARE. Other churches merely take a generic statement, perhaps from their denominational hierarchy, and make it the mission statement of the church. There are dangers in this as well.

Let's examine one such statement. The mission statement of one major Christian denomination reads, "The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." On the surface, this sounds great. It talks about Jesus. It talks about discipleship. It says we want to transform the world. Those are all great things, right?

Consider this: that statement says absolutely nothing about the specific circumstances of a local church. It is so broad and so generic that it could apply to any church in any location at any point in history. It does not address the specific circumstances of a particular church in a particular place today. Further, the word "disciple" is a word that everyone in the church knows and uses, but few actually understand. Worse, it is a word that has absolutely no meaning outside the church. So, this statement has absolutely no meaning to a seeker. Lastly, what exactly does it mean to "transform the world?" Every person in every pew in every church in the world would have a different answer to that question. Which means that this statement is not really capable of guiding any individual church in its day-to-day ministries. It is NOT an effective mission statement for a local church.

Your church's mission statement should clearly define who your are today and who you want to be in the near future. It should tell someone WHY that particular church exists and what it hopes to accomplish in its mission field. Does it exist to be a place where people can learn for themselves what it means to be a Jesus Follower? Does it exist to spread social holiness in its mission field? Does it exist to equip others to go and start new faith communities?

These statements are important because they should guide EVERY SINGLE DECISION you make. They should guide EVERY SINGLE ACTION you take. And, EVERY SINGLE MINISTRY you undertake should be aligned with your vision and mission.

Ministry Alignment is an important, albeit occasionally painful, process that every church must undertake. Consider having a fresh set of eyes and ears help you with some new ideas. If you put in the effort to update your mission and vision and to align every ministry with that new vision, your ministries will be much more fruitful and effective, and the entire church will be moving in the same direction.

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