Over the last few years at Maywood you have heard me say many times over again that we are “Becoming a People to Reach People for Christ!” I hope that the message has not become “old-hat” or cliché-like to you. I want to share seven reasons why all churches need a church vision statement.
1. Without a vision statement churches have no idea where they are headed. Imagine someone on a ship adjusting the sails to head a certain direction while another person stands at the helm adjusting the rudder for another direction. All the while the crew is paddling at different rhythms and reverse directions. At that point the ship goes nowhere and the people remain exhausted. Having no vision statement is like boarding the ship for vacation but nobody truly knows where he or she is headed.
2. A vision statement brings about the necessary changes. Change is part of life and yet change can be painful. With a proper understanding of why a church exists, decisions can be much easier to make because the sails are being adjusted to obtain the vision of the church. With a proper vision statement people are able to loosen the ropes that have anchored them down for so long and set sail for where they are headed. Tradition and the past cannot define future of the church.
3. A vision statement gives purpose to every ministry in the church. Many people within the church bring their own ideas in terms of what a church should look like. This can be very confusing and frustrating at the same time. Personal feelings get in the way and selfishness can begin to dominate. A vision-driven church establishes ministries that fulfill the vision of the church. The best choices are sought out in order to help move the church closer to its vision. This means that the church can not do everything.
4. A vision statement determines how the money in the church is spent. A budget reveals a great deal as to where a church is headed. The church should build its budget around a particular staff, ministries, and programs that bring about the vision of the church. If a church believes they are called to reach their community with the Gospel then money should be set aside for strategic endeavors to reach the community and even plant churches.
5. A vision statement is a picture of God’s priority for the church. Churches that want to adhere to God’s idea to where they are headed should encapsulate the mission of God in their vision statement. It should be biblical and everyone should be able to support it without reservation. It provides the backbone to why the church is doing what they are doing. A vision statement is God’s specific plan for a church for a specific time.
6. A vision statement directs the discipleship process of the church. Most churches incorporate and sum up the Great Commission in their vision statements (Matt. 28:19-20). Complete discipleship involves growing believers deep in the Word of God and reaching the lost for Jesus Christ. Both are necessary components and exist together. Discipleship is a journey in which we never arrive until Jesus Christ returns. It also means that everyone is a part of discipleship process.
7. A vision statement must move God’s people to action. It should be quick, easy, and understandable that we have a job to get done as a church when we read or state our vision statement. This is why it is posted everywhere at the church and on our social media. The entire church shares the same vision statement whether children or seniors.
I hope that you have memorized Maywood’s Vision Statement and state it often to others around you. I pray that it would become the priority of your life as God has led you to Maywood. “Becoming a People to Reach People for Christ!”