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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.

21 May '08

The Power of Clarity around Mission

Posted by T.J. Addington in missional clarity, organizational alignment, vision
For a congregation or ministry organization to reach its God-given potential, leaders must have absolute mission clarity and an unwavering commitment to that mission. Mission clarity allows leaders to lead in a specific direction that fulfills God's mandate for their ministry.

Mission answers the question, "Why do we exist?" The ability to clearly answer this question and help our organizations and churches understand the answer is key to good leadership and healthy, effective ministries.

Vagueness on mission leads to a diffusion of ministry effectiveness and competing, sometimes contradictory, directional emphasis. The greater clarity we have for why we exist, the more focused our ministry energies can be. Mission does not answer questions of specific strategies you are going to pursue. Rather, it answers an important directional question and, if answered well, allows leaders to move whole congregations in a common direction.

In our organization, the mission is clear: "We exist to glorify God by multiplying healthy churches among all people."

This answers the question for us, "why do we exist?" We want to glorify God. We will glorify God through church multiplication. But the multiplication we are after is not general, it is specifically healthy churches. And we have a commitment to do that multiplication among all people.

This is what we know. Our goal is to glorify God. We will be successful only when we see true multiplication take place and where that multiplication is healthy and includes not just some kinds of people but all kinds of people.

Most organizations have a mission statement. The problem is that most of their constituents either don't know what it is or what it means. Mission is not something to be written in our materials but lived in our lives. In our organization we insist that all initiatives undertaken can be tied clearly back to our mission. If they cannot be, they are probably not things we should be doing.

A key ongoing question for leaders ought to be "how well are we doing in living the mission?" In some organizations the mission will need to be clarified so it is possible to answer the question. Your mission is the main thing and the main thing is always to keep the main thing the main thing.