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