How to Write a Vision Statment

My blog called “Vision vs. Mission and Why it Matters to You as a Leader or Individual” addresses the difference between a vision and mission statement. For those of you who missed it, here’s a recap.

In simple terms, a vision statement is where you want to go in the future and should stretch your organization or ministry beyond what it is currently.

A mission statement is a description of what the organization does, and the reason for its existence.

Simply put,a vision statement is the where you want to go, and a mission statement is how you are going to get there.

The bible talks about importance of vision in Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Aren’t you glad we have God’s word, the bible, to show us God’s mission and vision for us as Christ followers. The bible teaches us how to live (mission), and where we are going if we have accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour (vision).

While both vision and mission statements must include space for the Holy Spirit to work, ministries and churches must have a clear understanding of why they exist, the importance of where they exist, what they are called to do, and how they will carry out this calling.

How to Write a Vision Statement for Your Ministry

Vision starts with team

Gather a ministry team. Ministry is not a one person show. Ministry requires a team, and a variety of spiritual gifts, for effective ministry to be built. Build the team with individuals who have a heart for the people group this team will serve.

Vision starts through prayer

We cannot begin to know the true needs of people. We may think we know, but we must rely on the power, insight and strength of the Holy Spirit, as only He truly knows the hearts of people.

  • Cover congregants in prayer, by name if possible
  • Pray for God to prepare you for the role you may play on the team
  • Pray for the humility required to lead well
  • Pray for wisdom for next steps
  • Pray for the church leadership team
  • Pray for current teams to be open to new ideas and vision\

Vision starts by working under the church’s vision statement

  • All church ministries must work under the church’s vision statement
  • All church ministries must align with the church’s vision statement
  • Ensure that your church’s vision statement is visible, as your team works on its individual vision statement

Vision starts with a brainstorm

  • With the church’s vision statement is in front of you, brainstorm keywords that describe where the team would like to see this ministry go, and how it will get there
  • Brainstorm projected outcomes the team would like to see in the lives of those who will benefit from this ministry
  • Think about discipleship, and what it means to be a disciple of Christ, and how this ministry may help facilitate this discipleship process

Vision starts with prioritizing key words

  • Make a column for vision statement keywords, and another for mission statement keywords
  • Place keywords under the appropriate column
    • do these describe where the ministry is going (vision)?
    • do these describe how the ministry will get there (mission)?
  • Once columns are completed, begin to form phrases that encapsulate these key thoughts

Vision starts by wordsmithing key phrases into a concise sentence

Note: The team and congregants should be able to memorize your vision statement.

Here are a few examples of concise vision statements
“To make and deploy mature and equipped followers of Christ for the sake of Family, Community and Global transformation.” Perimeter Church (Johns Creek, GA):

“To create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.” Glide (San Francisco, CA):

It may take several team meetings to get the vision and mission statements right. Take the time to get the statements as clear as possible.

Finally, take the vision statement and mission statement to the Pastor or Elder Team (dependent on your church structure) for their approval before the statements are taken public.

Remember that following church leadership covering, is so important. All ministries of the church are to work together as one body. For this to happen, there must be good communication and accountability.

I can Help! My First Steps – Building Vibrant Ministry Workshop addresses how to build a ministry, how to build a team, dealing with conflict and event planning from projected outcomes. For more information on this and other topics I offer please go to www. definingpurpose.ca

Vision vs. Mission and Why it Matters to You as a Leader or an Individual

What’s the Difference Between a Vision Statement and a Mission Statement?

In simple terms, a vision statement is where you want to go in the future. It should stretch your organization or ministry beyond what it is today.

A mission statement is a description of what the organization does, and the reason for its existence.

Here are 2 Mission Statements of Well-Known Companies (the “why” this company exists)

“To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same thing as rich people.” (Wal-Mart Mission Statement)

“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” (Amazon.com Mission Statement)

If a Church is Not a Business, Why Does it Need Vision and Mission Statements?

The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” 

While both vision and mission statements must include space for the Holy Spirit to work, ministries and churches must have a clear understanding of why they exist, the importance of where they exist, what they are called to do, and how they will carry out this calling.

Churches who don’t have a clear vision and mission are prone to:

  • making bad decisions
  • hiring staff who aren’t a good fit
  • dealing with the same issues year after year with no productive change
  • losing congregants who are frustrated by the lack of vision and direction
  • low giving because people don’t trust money is being used wisely

I wonder how many people leave churches due to problems that could be avoided if the vision and mission are being upheld.

Why Should Mission and Vision Matter to Church Individuals?

  • Because individuals make up the church, and are called to live out the great commission, and to be the hands and feet of Christ, within their churches and communities
  • Because each individual of the church is called to use his/her spiritual gifts to serve the church, and to fulfill his/her calling to Christ
  • Because members of the church are to be watchdogs, to hold leaders accountable, for decisions made within the church. Congregants must be aware of the mission and vision of the church, and to question leaders, if they seem to be going off track, in upholding the church mission and vision.

Why Should Mission and Vision Matter to Church Leaders?

  • Because leaders are responsible to teach, and equip the congregation, to carry out the mission and vision, and the great commission
  • Because all ministries within the church, should line up with the mission and vision of the church
  • Because leaders are called to protect the unity of the church. Divisions arise when the vision and mission is not upheld, or is interpreted differently than intended.

Make it Personal

  • Know your church’s vision and mission statements
  • Evaluate yourself on how you are doing your part, to live out the mission statement
  • If you are not living the mission statement, step up your game, get involved, be a proactive member of your church
  • Know your spiritual gifts, and use them within your church, to help carry out the mission

I can Help!

My Gifted for Purpose Workshop addresses spiritual gifts, calling, and how God can use us as individuals, to make a difference for Him, in our churches, communities, and the world. Contact me to find out more information about booking a Gifted for Purpose Workshop for your church.

Seventh Roadblock to Effective Women’s Ministry – Trying to Lead Alone

 

Good leaders should always be working themselves out of a job. How do they do this? Bring other leaders alongside and train them in what you do and how to do it.

Lies Women Leaders Often Believe:

1. No one really wants to help so I should do it all myself.

Any leader taking on too much will either burn out, or come to resent the people she serves. Invite others to serve and share the load.

2. I can do the job better myself.

Leaders are often very capable in many areas. However, no one person is good at everything. Delegate to your weak areas to others good in that area and watch them shine.

3. I should keep saying yes.

The truth is when we step in to do something we shouldn’t, we may be enabling someone else to say no, who should be saying yes. Sometimes we fill holes that should remain undone, until someone else decides to step up. Leaders doing too much are setting ministry up to fail, if they need to step down.

4. Asking for help is a weakness.

I have come to believe that it takes strength and courage to ask for help. We may be robbing someone of a blessing, if we don’t allow them to help us.

5. If I let others know my weaknesses they won’t respect me.

My favorite leaders are those who are authentic not perfect. Perfect people often repel others because no one feels they can measure up to a perfect person. Leaders who are real and admit their weaknesses, and vulnerabilities, tend to attract not repel people.

6. I have to keep leading even though I know my time is done.

When God asks you to step down from leading listen. If you try to keep leading after your expiry date, you will likely do more damage than good.

7. I’m not good enough to lead.

God loves to equip the called. Most of the biblical characters God used in the bible were misfits or ordinary people. This should give us hope that God can use us despite our weaknesses.

Sixth Roadblock to Effective Women’s Ministry – Lack of Vision

“Vision without execution is hallucination” – Thomas Edison

“To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.”

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18

If you have been in a situation at work, church, in a relationship, or even on a road trip, where there was no vision of where you were going, or a plan to get there, you have probably been incredibly frustrated.

In Women’s Ministry we need a plan. Plans should include:

1. Overall ministry plan for the ministry year.

Ministry years often run September through May or September through June. Write out a plan of events for the whole ministry year the quarter or semester before it starts. For example September through December plans should be made during the previous spring.

2. A Projected Budget

What do you project the budget will be for each event or activity. Account for income and expenses. Track all expenses for the year on a spreadsheet and then you will have an idea of how to budget for the following year.

3. Projected outcomes.

Plan events from the outcome you’d like to see in women’s lives and plan backwards. What changes or growth would you like to see in a woman’s life after participating in you women’s ministry for the coming year. How will you track these changes? What kind of activities, events, discipling, teaching will need to take place in order for the outcomes of personal and spiritual growth to be achieved. While it is God who brings the heart change in women we can help set the stage for growth to happen. Be purposeful in ministry planning.

How to have VISION
V – visualize what’s possible – where do you want to go
I – invite unity and team
S-solicit direction – keep evaluating and asking women if you are meeting your ministry objectives and outcomes
I-infuse passion – be excited about your women’s ministry – enthusiasm draws others
O- organize your ministry – be prepared
N- nurture leaders – train, encourage, equip other leaders

 

Fifth Roadblock to Effective Women’s Ministry – Clash of the Generations

 

In Women’s Ministry sometimes there can be a battle between the older and younger generations in ideas on how things are to be done, as to what the needs of women are, and how these needs should be addressed within Women’s Ministry. Heated discussions may also arise when it comes to ideas of new team members with new ideas, and those who like the way things have always been done.

Here are some tips I’ve found helpful in navigating generations of women within Women’s Ministry:

1. Involve women of different ages and life stages on your planning team.

Let each generation speak to the needs of their peers and what the spiritual needs are. Allow air time to be divided among all the ages.

2. As the team leader have an idea of where you’d like to see your women’s ministry go.

The bible says without vision the people perish. While there may be many voices and opinions amongst the team members of different ages and life stages, ultimately someone must set the direction of where the team is headed and the means which will be used to get there.

3. Form a vision statement for the women’s ministry.

Involve the team in developing the vision statement. Include wording in the vision statement that is clear and defines the direction of women’s ministry. Remember that the vision statement of your Women’s Ministry must come under alignment of your church’s vision statement.

4. Be patient with change or lack of it.

Some people are early adapters and some are late adapters. Some people take change in stride and adjust quickly, some need a while to get used to new ideas or ways of doing things. Encourage all the women to be patient with change, and gracious with the other women no matter where they are at in the process of change.

5. Be careful in how your team words things when it comes to change.

Negative talk about old ways will not go over well. Hindsight is always 20/20 and culture is always changing. Just because something seems old fashioned now doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good fit at the time.

6. Give honor where honor is due.

Give credit to women who have lead ministries or events faithfully over the years even if those events may fade out or look different in the future.

7. Put on love.

Seek to understand both the older and younger generations. Provide room for conversation on change in a respectful, gracious manner.

 

Fourth Roadblock to Effective Women’s Ministry- Lack of Volunteers

 

Sometimes finding volunteers for events, to lead small groups, or to serve in other areas of Women’s Ministry can be a challenge.

Here’s what I’ve tried when recruiting volunteers:

1. Let volunteers know exactly what is expected of them.

Hand them a job description which clearly outlines what you are needing them to do, how much time you think it will take, and resources they may need and where to obtain them.

2.  Look for people not already involved serving in other areas.

Often it is 20% of people in the church doing 80% of the work. Try to ask people not already overly involved in your church. At your women’s events look for those who have attended more than once that seem to be good with people. Offer to take them for coffee to see what they may be interested in helping with.

3. Seek to understand the gifting and personality styles of individuals you ask to serve and put them in the right roles.

Volunteers are more likely to get excited about serving or to want to serve again if they enjoy the tasks they are given. If you can help plug your volunteers into their sweet spot they will likely serve with joy!

4. When women step up to volunteer thank them.

I write thank you notes to women leading at each of our events. If the budget allows I put a small gift card in with the thank you card. Happy volunteers are likely to keep volunteering. People want to be recognized and know that they are appreciated and that they are making a difference.

5. Ask your pastoral staff for names of people not yet serving who may fit well serving in women’s ministry.

Your church pastoral staff can be great resources of who may be a good fit for roles you are needing to fill in women’s ministry.

6. Ask women who are involved to each recruit another volunteer. 

Word of mouth is still the best advertising. If women already serving are passionate they are likely to ask others to join in.

7. Have women serving bring another woman alongside her to serve and to teach her what needs to be done in that area.

If one woman has to step down from serving the other woman can continue and then recruit one new person to train. This way you won’t have any holes in the ministry if one woman needs to step away from her responsibilities.

Third Roadblock to Effective Women’s Ministry- Getting Women to Attend Events

Many women in our culture today feel stressed out by all the demands on their time. It can be difficult to motivate women to attend church events outside of Sundays, or to get a commitment to attend,  more than a week in advance. This fact can cause great stress to event organizers trying to plan for how much food, set-up etc. will be required.

Here are some things I’ve tried in order to get women to commit to an event:

1. Stand at the entrance of the church sanctuary with a clipboard and ask each woman who walks by if they are planning to attend the upcoming women’s event. Let them know the details and ticket cost.

Put a flyer or brochure in her hand as an invite, containing the pertinent information. Repeat this for at least 4 weeks prior to the event.

2. Offer a prize for the first woman to sign up and then random numbers after that. For example if you expect 50 women to attend an event, offer a prize for the lady who buys the 10th, 20th, 25th and 30th tickets. 

3. Find 3-5 women who will commit to attend the event and will commit to inviting other women to join them.

If you have 5 women who each commit to personally invite 10 women you could easily reach 50 attendees.

4. When advertising the event on social media ask several women to like and share your post, and comment that they will be attending. 

5. Be enthusiastic about your event and talk it up.

Do your best to create a sense of excitement around the women’s events and mention it several times on social media, bulletin, announcements etc.

6. Ensure the word gets out in your church bulletin, newsletter, emails and social media.

However, I find most women need a personal invite, so while advertising is important for women to know the date and details, most won’t attend without a personal ask.

7. If your church is a church of small groups, ask the small groups Pastor to have small group leaders mention your event to his/her small group and encourage all the women in the small group to attend, and maybe even to go as a group.

 

Second Roadblock to Effective Women’s Ministry – CONFLICT

 

Conflict in life is unavoidable. It is impossible for us to agree with everyone, all the time. Ministry and church life are not exempt from conflict, differing viewpoints and opinions.

What Causes Conflict?

The bible says in James 4:1 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” Our desires include our values, perceptions, ideas, wants or motivations. Conflicts arise when our desires conflict with those of others.

How Should Christians Deal with Conflict?

Jesus dealt with many conflicts during his 33 years on earth. When involved in a conflict, Jesus was consistent with His nature of love, He told the truth in love. When speaking to the Pharisees, the strong language Jesus used was not meant to shame them, but served as an invitation for them to see the error of their ways, and to follow Him.

Isn’t Speaking God’s Truth Being Judgemental of Others?

Our culture has bought the lie that if you disagree with someone, you are rejecting or hating the person. This could not be further from the truth. We can disagree with someone’s actions or behavior, while still loving or caring about the person. The truth is, that when we love or care about someone, we want the best for them. If we didn’t care about someone, it would be easier to say nothing.

The next time you are involved in a conflict, try these 10 conflict resolution tips ….

1. Take it to God First

⦁ Talk to God about the conflict and what you are feeling.
⦁ Ask God for wisdom to identify what is going on inside you, and how to proceed.
⦁ Seek to identify if the current conflict has triggered in you a hurt from the past. If so, you may need to seek help of a professional counsellor to help you identify and deal with the past hurt, before you can address the current issue.
⦁ Pray for the other person or persons involved (it’s hard to be mad at someone when you are praying for them).

2. Pay attention to your feelings

⦁ Feelings are not right or wrong. They are neutral.
⦁ Feelings are indicators that something is wrong, needs fixing or addressing.
⦁ While anger is often the first emotion experienced in conflict, we can’t stay there. The bible says “In your anger do not sin” Eph. 4:26 NIV

3. Seek to control your emotions and behavior

⦁ In the heat of the conflict, stop to take a few deep breaths.
⦁ While anger may alert us to address a problem, anger must lead to calm, helpful action.
⦁ It has been proven that when we are angry our IQ decreases. This explains why people often do or say unintelligent things when acting in anger. Be smart, stay calm!
⦁ “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31 NIV

4. Practice what you might say to the person

⦁ If appropriate, pause the conversation and take time to think about what you need to say before responding. Book a time to talk, after you’ve had time to process.
⦁ Practice what you’d like to say on a friend or your spouse without breaking confidences.

5. Seek to communicate clearly and effectively

⦁ Speak in a calm tone, in words and language the other person relates to. For example, some people relate best to the bottom line, word pictures, in their love language etc.
⦁ “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.” Proverbs 12:18 NKJ

6. Listen for what is felt and said (seek to identify the real issue)

⦁ Listen for the heart of what the other person is saying.
⦁ Remember that the issue is problem, the other person is not the problem.

7. Keep short accounts

⦁ Address the issue with the person as soon as possible.
⦁ Undealt with conflicts can result in bitterness, broken relationships, and stress.

8. Pick your battles

⦁ Know when to speak up.
⦁ If you have already talked through an issue with the same person many times, you may need to stop talking and just take it to prayer.

9. Know when to let it go

⦁ When you are having conversations in your head with other person, it is time to let it go.
⦁ When you have done everything you can to live at peace with someone, and the issue is still unresolved, place the issue in God’s hands and leave it there until He instructs you to take a next step.

10. Be willing to forgive

⦁ The bible says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 NIV
⦁ Sometimes it is better to be good than to be right.
⦁ Don’t let conflicts fester. Do your part and then turn the conflict over to God.

My First Steps for Vibrant Ministry Workshop includes a whole session on dealing with conflict. Check out First Steps here.

Check out my FB group Purposeful Women’s Ministry Canada