Vision and mission. Odds are, you’ve read about these two items before. Nearly every book on leadership talks about the importance of knowing your vision and mission. There’s a good reason for that: you can’t know whether you’re successful unless you know what you’re trying to accomplish. You probably can’t know in advance exactly what you want your ministry to look like in ten years, but setting some target to move toward will help you move forward in a productive direction.
- Vision answers the question, “What is your preferred picture of the future?”
- Mission answers the question, “What do you want to accomplish?”
Although I’ve been in ministry for almost 40 years, and have been doing work similar to what I do now for almost 30 years, I revisit the question of vision and mission regularly—most recently just this past summer. I find it helps to sharpen my thinking in these areas periodically. Here’s what I, with the help of my team, came up with for my organization, Logan Leadership:
- Our Vision: We align with the heart of the Father in our desire to see every person living, growing, and multiplying together as disciples of Jesus who demonstrate the Kingdom of God among all peoples.
- Our Mission: We believe that our calling is in catalyzing leaders to accelerate their movement toward this vision.
- Our Approach: By combining biblical principles with social science insights, we help leaders sharpen thinking skills, focus strategic actions, contextualize solutions, and create reproducible processes, increasing their ministry capacity.
Going through this exercise with my team helped energize us, gain clarity, and remain focused on what we’re really all about. You may notice that I added “approach” as a category. In the case of my organization, it felt important to address the beginnings of the question, “How do we want to accomplish this?”
Try working through vision and mission together with your team. Don’t short-circuit the process by doing it yourself instead of thinking it through alongside others. You’ll have missed out on some significant opportunities for team-building, motivation, and getting people on board to go in the same direction. Not to mention that your results won’t be nearly as good.