Keep it simple
The simplest task for a church planter should be choosing a mission statement.
Why? It has already been chosen for all local churches. We call it the Great Commission. It is interesting that “Sunday School answers” get a bad rap, when those very answers are usually true. When it comes to your mission statement, you need to refer back to the old Sunday School answers you now (for reasons unknown) make fun of in your small group.
The answer is this: the Great Commission is your mission statement.
If it is something different, we probably don’t need to be funding you as a new church start, because you aren’t necessary. If it is something different, you are probably a church split pretending to be a plant, or you just really want to be in charge somewhere.
Do not complicate matters
The reason why the mission statement gets so complicated is because we are letting buzzwords from the Christian subculture influence us more than the Bible.
In the Great Commission we see evangelism and discipleship linked together to give Christians their mission to fulfill as the Church. The more you get caught in semantics, the more likely you are to miss the point. As you develop the mission statement, refuse to allow people at the table to get off track about why you are planting in the first place. Yes, use your own wording that is appropriate and understandable for your context, but don’t reinvent the wheel. Nobody in your town thinks your mission statement is as cool as you do, so don’t try so hard to be trendy. Try hard to be focused, clear, and most of all, biblical.
If you started the church because of the Great Commission, creating your mission statement will only be stressful if you complicate matters. Reach the lost and equip disciples to make disciples. That’s a mission worth giving one’s life to make happen, by God’s grace.
Published June 3, 2015