Now that you know that you’re called, what are you called to do? What are your mission directives from HQ? What is it you and your church are here to accomplish? Businesses borrowed the term “mission statement” from the church, because any biblical church is always on mission. A mission statement will help you ensure that you stay lashed to it. Church planting is like navigating a ship through a storm. There are hurricane gale force winds that will try to blow you off course, and your mission serves as your true North.
Without a solid mission statement you’ll default into the “any port in a storm is a good one” philosophy. In other words, if you don’t know where you’re headed, you’re going to drift towards what comes naturally, or what’s merely convenient.
The Mission statement will constantly serve as a rally point for you to reorganize yourself back into formation so that your troops can continue to infiltrate. It is specifically what you’re going to do to accomplish those goals. If you like, it’s what you’re going to focus on. It doesn’t have to all be about evangelism, but if you’re planting a church that isn’t just going to play musical pews with believers, then you’re going to need to start focusing on evangelism quite a bit. In Refuge, the people know that Sunday mornings “aren’t about me”. Some parrot it half-heartedly, wishing it was still about them when they get worn out, but others have caught a holy fever, and never knew the joy that comes from lifting your eyes off of yourself, and fixing them on God and others. When the chips are down, you’ll continue to come back to the church plant’s mission statement and tenaciously cling to what God revealed to you, and at times you’ll wrestle with the angel in the face of impending doom, shouting, “I won’t let go until you bless me!”
A mission statement is developed by asking what vision you’ve received. Every time that God calls somebody in the scripture, he gives them a vision. To the Twelve, he told them that they’d be Spirit-empowered witnesses in ever increasing concentric circles spiraling outwards from Jerusalem to the end of the earth. That mission statement comprises the who, where, how, and when. It’s practical, tangible, and measurable.
Moses was told he’d liberate the Israelites. Paul was told he’d open the eyes of the Gentiles. Ezekiel was told he’d merely prophesy but nobody would listen, but they’d know that a prophet had been among them nonetheless. So what’s God calling you to do? God didn’t call you in a vacuum. He called you to do something practical, tangible, and measurable. There’s a church plant shaped hole in your community that God Himself has called you to fill. What’s it look like? Your mission statement answers the question, “Why does our church plant even exist?”
Statistically, 80 – 85% of American churches are in decline. Yet 85% of churches in America believe that evangelism should be a priority. Although most people believe that evangelism is a good thing, in the day-to-day workings of the average church in America, this translates to mere lip service. Realistically, less than 15% of people in our churches have ever, or ever will lead somebody else to Christ. This is because most Christians aren’t on mission. Your church plant, therefore, serves as a missional catalyst for the average Christian who comes through your doors.
If the church is on mission, then the mission needs to be hardwired into the DNA so that anybody who joins it immediately has mission spliced into their genes. What do you think that Paul’s chief pre-occupation was as he planted churches in pagan pre-Christian Europe? When Paul wrote the Thessalonians, he applauded their missional DNA as evidenced by the gospel advancing to further frontiers through their church plant.
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.