Mission Revival

After taking a mission statement sabbatical, i believe that God has given me a fresh vision for the way we should communicate the vision of The Core to the world. I've added a vital, overlooked piece to the "mission statement", and took a quite different approach to the MS concept as a whole... a more postmodern approach, if you will. :) Originally, i had plan on just writing back and forth with our other pastor, Ryan. But i felt that this process might be beneficial to others asking God for fresh vision for leading His Church into the challenging waters ahead, so feel free to share insights and scriptures, as we figure out how to best communicate "who we are", "why we exist" and "how we exist" to a world who desperately needs to connect or reconnect with Christ in a transformational way.
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Everyone (at least in emerging church circles) predicts that a church's mission statement will be one sentence, and that it will be able to be expressed in 3 or 4 key terms, which i find a great deal of merit in. But i felt like one sentence did't quite give justice to our true calling. So i took the original mission statement, added two vital, adjoining thoughts ("who we are" and "why we exist"). The first is the underlying, ultimate purpose of The Core.

The purpose of The Core is to glorify God, to magnify His renown and to advance His Kingdom on earth.

This foundational motivation cannot be underemphasized, nor its communication underestimated. It is not easily assumed that every Church consciously exists and operates for this purpose. In fact, there is (and has been for some time) surmounting skepticism as to whether or not this is true of a majority of Western churches. Therefore, i believe it is imperative to communicate this fact as ubiquitously as we possibly can.

The second is the ultimate mission of The Core:

The mission of The Core is to help people connect with God through whole-life relationships with Jesus and with one another, and to engage them in the mission of God in the world.

After looking at it again, the original MS came off a bit humanistic (the last phrase in the statement was omitted). But the truth is, we do not exist merely for humanistic purposes— for the sake of people. Our love for people is the result and evidence of our love for God. We want to plug people into what God is doing in the world, for the sake of His name and His renown. (This concept is also emphasized in the final sentence, below.)

Lastly, i believe that we should not only communicate why we exist, but who we are. This will be relied upon at least as often as the prior two statements, if not more. That's really the question people are asking. Not "What are your intentions?" but "Who are you, really?" I believe the following statement communicates who we are (with a key word being "strives"):

The Core is a holistic, missional, Christ-centered community of disciples who strive to be the incarnate presence of Jesus in center city Springfield, and to mobilize Christians to engage people of all cultures with the Good News of Jesus.

Again, we have to make clear who we are. There are so-called “holistic, missional communities” out there who are not centered on the supremacy and sovereignty of Christ, but on humanistic values. We need to let people know upfront who we truly are. Second of all, we cannot neglect the concept of incarnation—that God has made us ambassadors from Him to the world, and that our mode of transformation is His presence dwelling through and among us. Third of all, while I included the “location” of The Core, it’s vital that we communicate that we are interested not only in our Jerusalem, but in Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, as Christ commanded. I believe this statement communicates that succinctly.

Well, there you have it. One mission, three statements (kind of like the trinity, eh?!).

The main thing I’m still working on is the order in which these statements are communicated. I'm leaning towards "Who we are", "Why we exist", and "How we exist", in that order. Feedback on any and all of what I’ve put together is welcome and appreciated.

Grace and peace.



matt

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