I’m still amazed when I hear of churches, youth groups, or (Christian) organizations operating without a mission and vision. For the first year or two of a new church or group that’s perfectly fine, but after that creating a mission and vision statement is crucially important to bring focus and growth.
That being said, you can’t ‘just’ create a mission and vision. Or to use a well-known meme: one does not simply create a mission and vision. Here are the three biggest mistakes when doing so:
1. Rushing through the process
Rome wasn’t built in a day, the saying goes, and neither are mission and visions. You can’t create them in a day, a week, or even a month. They need time to marinate, to grow, to become accepted by everyone.
Don’t rust through the process of creating these crucially important documents. Take the time with everyone involved to pray, discuss, evaluate, and pray some more.
A second mistake is to cut-and-paste from another church or youth group. You can do it, sure, but don’t expect it to work.
The core idea is that your mission and vision are uniquely yours, tailored to your circumstances and situation. No other youth group or organization should be able to have the same documents as you do, because your context is so unique. What works for you will not work for others and vice versa. So don’t copy paste; take the time to study your context and discover God’s unique purpose for you and your group.
3. Create it top-down
Sure, as a leader you could formulate a mission statement and ‘dictate’ it to your leaders and everyone else. It won’t work, though.
A crucial success element is having your leaders and everyone else involved (including the pastor(s), church board, church leaders, parents, youth leaders, even youth) in the process of brainstorming, formulating, praying, and finally affirming your vision for the future.
Once people have had a chance to help create the vision, they’ll be way more invested in making it a reality.
Creating a mission and vision for your youth ministry, group, church, or organization is a time-consuming process, but one that’s eventually well worth the investment.
How did you create these documents for your ministry? If you haven’t yet, what’s holding you back?
(If you want to know more about how to create a mission, vision, and strategy, check out our affordable e-course on this topic!)