BY STEVE DUNN
Churches need to have a big picture. And part of that is having an image of who God wants them to be as people on mission with Jesus. So often we focus on the DOING of ministry that we lose sight of who are called to BE as we carry out that specific mission God has entrusted us with. This is what I believe is Peter’s perspective when he writes:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 1.29
As I teach leadership to my seminary students and with local congregation, I have found it helpful to distinguish between VISION and MISSION, two terms often used interchangeably. Using four terms often related to planning …
VISION is the picture of the church’s future: Who you believe God wants to be or how You will bring glory and honor to Him. (e.g., a royal priesthood)
MISSION is the specific purpose or focus that the church embraces that will them towards the realization of that vision. A mission may be generational with a new focus as a church matures or the mission field evolves.
STRATEGIES are the practical plans for carrying out the mission.
VALUES are foundation that define who you are in Christ. And ultimately values drive behavior so that become truly who God wants us to be. (Values define “God’s special possession” for example.)
A STRATEGY or MISSION that does not affirm or reinforce your core values will undermine the health of a church—its faithfulness and fruitfulness.
Does this make sense? Is it helpful to you?
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