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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

22 Feb '12

Three questions regarding your mission

Every good organization has a mission statement. In a really good organization everyone knows the mission statement. It's like a law of the Medes and Persians, you have to have one so we all do. I have helped many organizations develop theirs. So here are three questions regarding the mission statement of your ministry.


First, do you believe in your mission statement? I mean passionately believe that what your mission states is what your organization is called to do. 


Second, how would you honestly evaluate how your ministry is doing in fulfilling that mission? My observation is that there are often massive disconnects between many mission statements and real results. I realize that mission statements are by definition long view statements but nonetheless, what grade would you honestly give the organization you are a part of for results on that mission? Often, the organization is not even configured to actually fulfill the mission except in very general or tangential ways. 


Third, what would it take in organizational realignment to actually deliver well on your mission? Think of a mission as a big arrow pointing in a specific direction. Then think about every part of your organization or ministry and ask whether all the subsidiary arrows are pointed in the same direction as the mission or whether there are many arrows pointed in other directions - doing nice things but not directly contributing to the big arrow.


Now let me go back to question one. Many organizations that have a mission are not really passionate about that mission even when they say they are. How do I know? They are not willing to align all parts of the organization so that all the arrows go in the same direction as the mission. That is when you know the organization - and leadership is passionate. Multi directional arrows are not about mission alignment or fulfillment. 


Missions are meaningless unless the whole organization is truly aligned around that mission.