Every organization has a mission, something they are trying to impact or accomplish. A mission statement is defined as “a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual.” It is one of the most vital foundational needs because it establishes who you are and what you are doing. The mission statement is as much a guide for the organization as it is for informing their audience of what they are about. In every operation, whether you are a company or just an individual, you should revisit your mission and make sure what you are doing lined up with it. It is worth it to spend a great amount of time thinking about all that your organization is when writing your mission statement so that when it’s time to carry out a task you don’t have to wonder why you are doing it or if it fits what you are. The biggest benefit of a mission statement is the accountability it creates to be consistent.
Most mission statements are unspoken. Whether we formally write them down or not, everything we do starts with an intention. I was thinking about churches this week and how some seem to have a mission of simply converting people into numbers. “We had 1,000 visitors!” or “We had 12 salvations!” As Christians, we should have a goal to bring people to hear messages with scripture and we should have a goal to see them accept Jesus in their hearts. There is nothing wrong with having that as a goal. There is something missing, though, if those are our only goals. When we approach people with an underlying intention like that, we shut our capacity to truly connect with them to low, or completely off. This happens because we are planning to take from them rather than give to them. That may be hard to swallow because our intention of converting people to Christianity comes from a place of love. We have been changed by it, we have grown because of it, so we want people to experience it. The problem is, it’s pushy. People give you half of themselves when they perceive that. If our mission is simplified to just love people, expecting nothing in return, this is how we line up our intention to give to them. When people perceive genuine giving, they are ready to listen and they are ready to receive more.
We do not find Jesus being pushy or have a goal of numbers. His goal was winning hearts. In John 13:35 Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Business minds look to numbers for measurement, but pure minds and hearts are deeper than that. They look to connect with people more to see where they stand, what they want, and what they need as their measurement. People only let you this close when trust is established and trust comes from the genuine place of love.
I encourage you when you reach out to people to not write them off if you don’t think they will come to your church or join your mission. Show them kindness first, be interested in them, give to them first, make them important, learn about who they are. This is how we show Jesus to the world. Jesus is not a corporate manager looking to control numbers. He wants a difference to be made in hearts not just buildings.