5 Ways to Create and Apply Mission, Vision, and Core Values to Your Church
Craft mission, vision, and value statements that create culture and growth.
By: Jason Bowman | Branding Communications & Marketing Habits & Culture
What happens when you don’t have a clear mission, vision, and core values? Unfortunately, we’ve seen less than desirable results—chaos, silos form, or your team is working on good tasks without an end purpose.
But the opposite is also true. When your mission, vision, and core values are clearly defined and familiar to your team, you experience health and growth.
We’ve helped churches, ministries, and organizations rise above the daily grind to clearly articulate their purpose. As we’ve aided in this process, we have noticed 5 key steps to create and apply a strong mission and vision statement, as well as core values.
Whether you know it or not, your team has a set of core values. They are intrinsic to how you operate. But sometimes, it requires a bit of mining to discover what these values are and if they are the ones you want informing the purpose of your day-to-day.
Our two favorite methods to clarify and solidify your mission, vision, and values are retreats and the always faithful dry-erase board brainstorm.
Then it’s time to get really honest with yourself. And we mean really honest. This can be a challenging process, but the rewards are priceless.
As you dive into this introspective endeavor, brainstorm and write down whatever comes to mind with these questions:
- Who are you? How do you define yourself?
- Who do you want to reach? How do you want to reach them?
The answers to these questions won’t change. Sure, the method might from time-to-time, but the answers will remain the same.
Your answers also describe or determine the culture you are creating and why you exist. This is something ArtSpeak loves to do—partner with churches and organizations to specifically define your mission, vision, and values so you can clearly march into the future.
Then think through these questions:
- What legacy do I want to leave for my employees?
- When I leave the church or company, what principles and ideas would I like to see continued?
- When in conflict, what values do we operate by, or want to operate by?
- Do our current systems support the values we would like to define us? If not, what values do our systems currently support?
As you answer and brainstorm, chances are keywords are beginning to emerge and be repeated. Take note. These will be your guide as you move forward.
The words and phrases you use must be thoughtful, intentional, and in language your team, customers, and/or members can easily grasp and embody.
You may be wondering: what exactly is a church mission statement? In our American church culture, mission and vision are synonyms, which means many leaders can get stumped on what to write or think through for each respective statement.
We want to ease your stress. Here’s the reality: each leadership book will have a different definition. But don’t get hung up on the definition of church vision statement vs mission statement. Focus on the why (mission), the what (vision), and how (core values).
If you pastor a church or ministry, Jesus gave us a Great Commission, which is a great starting point for crafting a unique church mission statement. While all churches have the same God-given charge, how you accomplish that in your area of influence may look a little different.
Think through what makes you unique as a church. Combine it with the principles of the Great Commission, and chances are, you have an inspiring mission statement.
Your vision encompasses the actual steps you take to fulfill the mission. Some of your current strategies may provide insight into how you are already working to accomplish your why.
Finally, your core values describe how it’s going to feel while you fulfill your mission. These will also be words that you will want your team to grasp and embody as they carry out their daily tasks.
One of our favorite church vision statements is from Church of the Highlands: We’re here to help people Know God, Find Freedom, Discover their Purpose, and Make a Difference. Within this statement, you can clearly see their what, and you can even spot some of their core values.
Words create worlds. Create your world with intention.
Your mission, vision, and values invite your team to be empowered and spur them to action. It invites customers or church members to partner in your goals. It invites prospective people to curiosity as they decide whether or not to join you.
The goal is to take every opportunity to infuse your mission, vision, and core values into the culture of your team and organization. We’ve seen this done in many creative ways. Some of our favorites are:
Create monthly or seasonal themes around your values.
Get others on your team to teach a particular value at a team meeting or in a class setting for your members.
Craft your priorities and events by your mission, vision, and values.
At ArtSpeak, “Gratitude Is Our Operating System” is one of our core values. One way we systematically weave this into our culture is by starting every team meeting celebrating a win. This automatically sets the tone and mindset for the rest of the meeting. It’s a great way to create positivity and cheer everyone on, as well.
By now, you’ve done the work, identified keywords, and crafted a statement, but you may be wondering: how do I determine if my mission statement is good?
The great news is you aren’t being graded. Your statement simply needs to feel like you. In order to gauge if it accomplishes its purpose, investigate the answer to this question:
Does it inspire the people you are working to reach?
If your mission statement doesn’t inspire those people, then it may need to be reworked. Make sure your mission, vision, and values are crafted in the language of the people you interact with. No King James Version here. It needs to be clear and encouraging, something they see themselves being part of.
Once you clarify your mission, vision, and values, you are well on your way to creating or enhancing the culture of your organization. Though challenging, this process creates clarity, team ownership, health in your organization, and growth and attraction of the right customers or members.
As you infuse these values and statements into your team, you will create momentum that surpasses anything a campaign, revival, or focused initiative could create. People will feel called and connected to a purpose.
Creating and applying church mission and vision statements, as well as core values, requires 5 key steps: introspection, intentionality, invitation, investigation, and initiation. But in the end, it leads to something beautiful.
Above all, we want the gospel spread and everything you do to be effective at reaching people with the good news of Jesus Christ. The more you clarify your mission, vision, and core values, the more effective and unified you will be at accomplishing the Great Commission.
If you need help solidifying your mission, vision, and core values, our team would love to help. You can schedule a 30-minute consultation by filling out the form below.