Every Church has a mission statement or equivalent (vision, purpose, objective) that summarises what it believes to be the reason’s for it’s existence. The great majority of these, baring the occasional creative deviation, are essentially the same. They want to organise themselves according to the Bible to tell people about Jesus (yes, there’s lots of nuances to unpack that thoroughly, but I’m not doing that here, for the moment).
My question here (in a not so subtle challenge) is, “How“, do you intend to fulfill your mission? If you don’t think through the “how” then your mission statement has no point and is a useless piece of decorative verbiage.
For the most part, many churches rely on and gear themselves to get people in to hear their message. Whether it is special events, like Easter services, Friend days, or advertising topical lectures or seminars that would be of interest, or just hosting a morning tea or meal – the main aim is, “get them in the door.” Once they’re in, the professionals can take over and teach, preach, persuade them to follow Jesus. This is called an “attractional” model of ministry. It’s a necessary part of any active, growing Church. The problem is, too often, it’s the ONLY part of the mediocre, stagnating majority of Churches.
In the attractional-only model (or even the model that is heavily biased towards attractional), there is little motivation, incentive or interest in people living the Christian life and seeking to serve God as missionaries in their day-to-day life. What is taught and exampled in the New Testament is something else. It’s a “missional” model. This is where the bulk of evangelism and outreach takes place outside the four walls of the Church building. The Sunday services and mid week teaching and fellowship times then become times of worshipful coaching, and rallying for the members to be better equipped to live for God and serve him wholeheartedly.
The attractional-only church, whether on purpose or unintentionally, conditions everyday Christians to feel no responsibility to have Gospel-focused, spiritual conversations. The “invest and invite” church makes the institutional church (contemporary or traditional) and their trained platform leaders the dispensers of salvation. If people need to go to the pastor to meet God, someone is confused about “who’s who” in the gospel story and its proclamation. ~ Ed Stetzer
So, “what” is the point of your mission statement? Is it a summary of “how” you live as Christians or something to fill a space in your policy documents and constitution?