The first analogy is a restaurant start-up. Imagine that we are excited to start a new restaurant and believe it has the potential to be a successful franchise.
To get off the ground, we want to attract investors and a few talented people to join our ambitious dream.
How successful do you think we would be if our mission was to “make food and serve the community?” You guessed it—not very.
Why? The language of mission does nothing to differentiate us from the thousands of restaurants that already exist. Nor does it guide our thinking, synergy, planning and communication for practical next steps. We really need to decide whether we are a fast-casual Italian or fine-dining seafood? Right?!
Consider another very different example. My wife, Romy, is a very talented artist. Sometimes she paints a random scene or an image that inspired her. Sometimes she paints with a purpose, selecting a predetermined location for a painting with a specific objective that guides the content, color and emotion of the work.
What might look like the same act to an unknowing observer—Romy painting two similar paintings—is actually very different. One painting requires no prethought or preparation. The other work of art is very calculated; she paints with a complete intensity and focus.
Purpose changes everything!
So now it’s up to you. If this post means anything to you, conduct a litmus test: Do your people know your mission?
Is it meaningfully articulated based on your understanding of what your church can do better than 10,000 others?
If not, then I think you are operating at a capacity less than 50 percent of what you should be. And that’s not an exaggeration. And if you want to talk about it, just let me know in the comments below.
If you already do run with a clear, concise, compelling and contextual mission, I would love to know about it and share it with the world. Let me know your mission in the comments section below.
Life is short and ministry is hard. So let’s lead with stunning clarity!