I have been thinking a lot about mission and vision statments lately. This is because I have been at our church for over a year and we are fast approaching a new year and it is time to refocus out efforts.
In part of my research I found the following information about a church to wrote a bold vision statement when it had only 7 people. Now years later the church resembles the vision they set out with.
Remember, this is your vision, it’s the way God sees you. If your vision is small, your church will be small. If you think God’s view of your purpose is small, you’ve been deceived. That’s why you need to dream big. Your vision statement needs to be bold enough that you never finish fulfilling it, while also being realistic enough to let you see progress and not become discouraged.
A good example of this principle is my home church’s vision statement: “We see the Life Church as a dynamic, spirit-filled, multi-cultural church, numbering in the thousands, impacting our city, our nation and our world through leadership development and church planting.” These are bold statements. In fact, their boldness is often a point of humor because these words were written when there were only 7 people in service, all of which were white. But, it gave the church something to shoot for. It told new members what to expect, and when the first non-white family showed up, everyone in the church welcomed them with open arms. They had been praying for diversity and the bold vision prepared them to succeed. Now, the church has grown into the thousands and the racial make up in the church almost exactly matches the racial make up in the city around it. But, the vision is still large enough that no one can sit back and say, “We’re done, nothing left to do.” When you dream big, you will always have room to grow.
I really love that the church mentioned became like the original vision statement. It was very bold to say “in the thousands” when they only had seven people, but if your vision is inspired and empowered by God, then it is just a matter of time.
One important thing I think about vision is it helps you to keep focussed when the temptaion to settle for good enough kicks in. When this kicks in, it is easy to go into autopilot and forget about growth and your mission.
The last thing I want to do is forget about the mission God has for us. It is just too important to settle for less.