During Fellowship Hour on Sunday, April 28, we will have the opportunity to work together to develop a mission statement for Second Congregational Church. One website (churchrelevance.com) defines a mission statement as “telling what you do: a one-sentence statement describing the reason an organization or program exists, and which is used to help guide decisions about priorities, actions, and responsibilities.” The website also recommends that a mission statement be “clear, memorable, and concise (short enough to remember).”
It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Here are some examples:
“Loving people to life” “Making New. Making Great.” “Making Disciples” “In Brighton. For Brighton.” “To Reach Up, Reach Out, and Reach In” These are mostly from Baptist churches around the U.S. (see the website for credits).
Closer to home, the mission statement of our neighbor church in Monson (First Church) is: “The mission of the First Church of Monson is to praise God through prayer, to share the word and love of God by promoting fellowship and community, and to serve as stewards of God’s creation – all in a manner that glorifies God and emulates Christ.” From the Athol Congregational Church: “We are a community of faith, gathered by God’s grace, following and modeling the way of Christ, as we celebrate, worship, serve and grow.” From the Edwards Church in Northampton: “The purpose of this Church, in all its programs and activities, shall be to bind together followers of Jesus Christ for sharing in the praise and worship of God and in seeking and serving God. As Christians, it is our mission to respond to all God’s creation with the love Christ directs, through collective and individual worship, prayer, support, and action.”
One of my colleague pastors, in a lighter moment, suggested that his church’s mission statement should be: “We are nice people who bake things.” (They had just finished a major fund-raiser that included fresh-baked goods.)
Why do WE exist? What is exciting or life-giving or inviting or inspiring about Second Church? What brings you here and keeps you here? How can we share that purpose with others in a way that invites everyone in?
A mission statement is the “why” of why we do what we do. The “why” then guides the “what” and the “how” of what we do as we follow Jesus together.
I hope you will bring your faith, your experience and your ideas to our meeting on April 28. I know that God will be present.