My church has recently adopted a new purpose statement which is clear and concise. “Knowing Christ and Making Him Known.” It defines all we do and all we are. Everything we do must be evaluated by the degree it helps us know Christ and/or make Him known.
I’m excited about it. It gives a lot of clarity to what we do and why.
In presenting the new vision statement, our pastor tied it in with some of the key programs in our church. He used words, and images centered around the idea of light (Matthew 5:14), to explain each part.
The first image is a lightbulb, and the name of that stage is “Illumination”. This is a couple of seminars that acquaints visitors and new members with the basics of the gospel and the way our church works. A lightbulb will light up a dark room so you can see where you are going. In the same way, these seminars will illuminate what our church is about.
The second image is a lighthouse. The name of this stage is “Instruction”. This includes a two-year small group Bible study program that covers some essential areas for Christians. It tries to teach basic beliefs, establish Godly disciplines and habits, teach you how to “do” evangelism, and so on. This is also the area that our Sunday School classes fall under. The reason they chose a lighthouse is that a lighthouse does not move. It is constant and you can navigate by it. God’s Word is similarly unmovable and can be used to navigate our lives.
The third phase is “Impact” and the associated image is a lantern. (I sort of helped come up with that image, but do I get credit? No!) The idea of a lantern is that it is small, personal, and casts enough light for the person carrying it and those immediately around him. A lantern casts out the darkness wherever it is carried. It represents the impact Christians ought to have in the lives of others. This little light of mine, I’m gonna’ let it shine. This image is by far the most powerful one to me. In our church programs, once a person has completed the 2 year small group Bible study, he’s expected to select an existing ministry, or start a new one, and make a 1 year committment to it. Some ministries are to the church body. Others minister outside the body. Others are not affiliated with our church, like the crisis pregnancy center.
If the rest of the church is motivated by this vision and if we keep it in focus, I think we’ll really have a great impact for God.