Maximize disciple making. This is the mission statement of the cabinet, our district superintendents and bishop, when making appointments. When the cabinet considers different churches and pastors for appointments, it asks the question, “Which churches have the greatest probability of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, and which pastors will maximize this possibility?”
Sometimes the cabinet is faced with the difficult decision of whether a particular pastor will better serve the overall mission of the church, making disciples and world transformation in one church over another church. But the question becomes, “Which pastor will better maximize making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world?”
A congregation’s mission
To know and serve God. This is a congregation’s mission. It focuses the time, treasure and talents of people to deepen their relationship with God and to equip and support them to serve God. This is a mission statement that can adapt with the congregation and people as they grow and mature in their faith, within an ever-changing community as their mission field.
Some churches would like to expand a mission statement by providing further descriptors of what people are to know or the types of service. But this leads to narrowing God’s possibility for the congregation, or its ministry groups, or its individuals. The concise mission statement actually expands possibilities, based on an individual’s level of faith development and talent, passion and ability for service. It also provides a powerful question for focusing resources and ministry: “Will this better help us to know and serve God?
Gather for fellowship and learning, and support members in daily living. This is a mission of a small group; and while a little long, 11 words, it clarifies why the group meets. It also provides a paradigm for what they do when they meet: begin with fellowship; engage in learning; identify life commitments in the coming weeks; and covenant for how the group members will support one another in their living during the week.
While vision provides direction and inspiration, the mission statement provides what you will do to move toward God’s preferred future. The mission statement focuses and aligns how you will use the resources of time, talent and treasure to accomplish the purpose of the congregation.
Does your congregation have a clear mission statement, vision and goals? Are they shaping and focusing your congregation’s time, talent and treasure? EPA has people ready to assist your congregation and ministry to shape a mission statement. Contact the Director of Connectional Ministries, Dawn Taylor-Storm at firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information about how your congregation can develop, identify and carry out its vision, mission and goals.
Be purposeful and fruitful. Lead toward your vision, mission and goals.