Mission Statements have become a fixture in organizational life. Whether it is a school, company, nonprofit or governmental branch, mission statements are the norm, not the exception. Since you have probably encountered a mission statement here or there, try to think of one or two and answer these questions in your mind:
Could you relate to it?
Was it inspiring?
Did it change anything?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you probably had an uncommon experience. Many of us have lukewarm experiences with mission statements. Part of the reason is the difficulty of making a mission statement that is broad in nature actually touch the heart of a single person. In an effort to “cover all bases” and simultaneously “deselect the n/a options,” mission statements can so easily become wordy, complicated and lifeless.
The lukewarm effect of the average mission statement should not take away from their significance. Mission statements are significant because they describe what people do in a particular place, they unify people into a common path and they create movement toward a positive impact in the world.
The best thing mission statements do, when they are done well, is to empower people to participate in something beyond themselves.
There are some fantastic examples of movements in the world that are grounded in clear and compelling mission statements. For example, there is the TOMS company mission statement:
“To make life more comfortable.”
The TOMS mission has started a worldwide movement because the idea of comfort goes beyond the shoes and products customers buy as the company has charged itself with the responsibility of providing for the comfort of children in impoverished regions worldwide. TOMS provides shoes, sight, clean water and safe birth to people in need in its famous one-for-one movement. Back to the original questions, people can relate to the TOMS mission statement, it is certainly inspiring and it has definitely changed lives. It’s a really good mission statement!
As a church plant in the Christian Church that is the greatest worldwide movement of all time, it is extremely important for CityWave to have a clear and compelling mission statement. Because CityWave is a church, it has a competitive advantage when it comes to mission statements because Jesus and the early church leaders were the best mission crafters in the business. There are countless mission statements for the Church throughout the New Testament that connect to the Good News of Jesus Christ. Churches throughout the world have taken advantage of this foundation and have created some of the most inspirational mission statements ever.
At CityWave, we believe mission statements can be exciting. The CityWave mission statement has been in the works for a long time through a series of God encounters. It comes directly from the Bible, in the New Testament to be exact. It is a mission that is fit for a church and has already drawn many people to give their lives to it passionately and sacrificially.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”
As it relates to CityWave, the mission statement is found in the line that says, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” CityWave is a faith movement that is about people gathering together and going out together for one common thing: To be inventive in acts of love and good. God is the one who is the best at doing love and good, so he is the one that we look to for leadership and empowerment to do love and good in the world as followers of Jesus.
The CityWave missional idea is that we are trying to catch the waves of God’s love and good and go to the people and places they take us. The cool thing is that riding waves is an inventive work. No wave is the same, and no moment in riding the wave is the same. The ride of the wave is always changing and developing. You can’t ride a wave unless you are inventive to catch the wave, keep the wave and do something really rad with it. To be inventive in acts of love and good with God is to let his creative brilliance show us how to spread his love and good in specific ways in a hurting world.