Much is being written these days about why churches should have mission and vision statements. It seems that everyone has their own idea on what these terms actually mean and how they should apply to a local church. To me, mission and vision are simple to understand, at least biblically. In fact, I think churches should waste little time on mission statements. Jesus gave us (the church) our mission in Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always to the end of the age.” (Holman) It seems pretty clear: Our mission is to go worldwide and make disciples.
So, the New Testament church is in the “disciple making” business. Another way to say it is this: The mission statement of the church states clearly the business of the church. If you put it that way, then the logical question for all churches to ask is simply, “How’s business?” In other words, if “disciple making” is the business of the church, how are we doing in making disciples? See how simple it becomes to evaluate the progress of your church if you understand clearly what you’re supposed to be doing? That’s what a mission statement does; it gives a church a baseline to measure progress.
Vision, by contrast, is about a preferred future. It’s about taking the mission, personalizing it, putting it into the proper context, and then looking ahead and seeing things the way you would like them to be. That’s why vision is so critical to a local church. If your city has several churches, and every church has the same mission (to make disciples), then what sets each church apart from the others? It is its vision, because it is in the vision (not the mission) that a church will find its uniqueness.
Let’s look to the Apostle Paul for help in better understanding mission and vision. Notice his words in Romans 1:13-15, “Now I want you to know, brothers, that I have often planned to come to you (but was prevented until now) in order that I might have a fruitful ministry among you, just as among the rest of the Gentiles. For I am obligated both to the Greeks and Barbarians, both wise and the foolish. So I am eager to preach the good news to you who are in Rome.” (Holman) Here we see that Paul’s mission was to preach the gospel (disciple making); but we also see that his vision (preferred future) was to go to Rome and have a fruitful ministry among the Romans. Look at it this way, every apostle was charged with preaching the gospel and making disciples, but they didn’t all have the vision to do it in Rome. Said simply, vision gives the “who, what, where, when and how” to the mission.
Our vision is to help you reach today’s woman with the all-sufficient message of the life-changing Word of God. Using Bible studies, retreats, conferences, and special events, we want to help you reach all women inside and outside the church. Please let us know if we can be of assistance.