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.
Also see “How to Write a Vision Statement”