Recently our women’s ministry team met for our leadership planning retreat. During that time we developed our mission statement. It would seem like it would be an easy task to develop a mission statement, but a lot of thought went into ours. Here are some considerations to take into account when formulating your mission statement:
1. What is the mission statement of your church or organization as a whole? When looking at the mission statement of our church we understood that our ministry needs to fit within the framework of the church’s mission statement.
2. Address the “spirituality triangle” in your women’s ministry. Something I learned in one of my graduate classes has really stuck with me. The triangle* would be community (fellowship), discipleship (Bible study & spiritual disciplines), and outreach (evangelism). To have a healthy church these three components need to be in balance. If you have a church focused on community, people love each other and connect well but may have poor doctrine and outreach. A church focused on discipleship may be great at teaching, but frequently focuses strongly on doctrine and forgets aspects of community and relationships. A church strong on evangelism and outreach may have a revolving door if they don’t have discipleship and community to mature new Christians.
3. Remember your mission statement is different than your written goals and objectives. Your written objectives are the vehicle and road you are using to accomplish your mission.
4. Keep it simple. Keeping a mission statement simple helps to focus on the primary objective of your mission. The more complicated the statement is, the more difficult it will be for people to understand your mission.
5. Once you have developed your mission statement, let people know what your mission is. Be sure your team knows your mission. Be sure the church’s leaders know your mission. Make sure it is on your publications, website, letterhead, and more.
*When developing our mission statement we looked for something that would address all three areas of the triangle. Once we looked at the mission of the church and determined how our women’s ministry could work within both it and the spirituality triangle, we were able to develop our mission statement: “The purpose of New Heights Christian Church Women’s Ministry is to create genuine community, encourage authentic discipleship and build the kingdom.” Simple enough to give us flexibility, yet states what our mission is.
Have fun creating your mission statement. Don’t be afraid to look at mission statements from other women’s ministries. Share ideas, brainstorm, and decide what you want your women’s ministry to accomplish. Once you set your mission, look at all of your programs within the framework of that mission. Review your existing programs and determine if they fit with your mission statement. If so, great. If not, evaluate the need for it. Sometimes it’s okay to eliminate a program.
So don’t be afraid to establish or revisit your mission statement. It is one of the best things you can do for your ministry.