Mission and vision as a filter

November 24th, 2008

One of the things that has been on my mind lately is the whole idea of mission and vision for a church or for a ministry. In particular I have been thinking that if we get our mission and vision right then it can act as a filter for all we do as Christians and/or ministry leaders.

When I think of mission I can’t go past two passages of Scripture – Mark 12:30-31 and Matthew 28:18-20.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NIV).

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).

For me these two passages form the basis of our mission as Christians and leaders. The are known as the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Put simply they say – love God, love people and make disciples. I personally think that most churches could or maybe should just adopt these as their mission statement and work from there.

Once we have this mission set before us we can then filter everything we do through these three thoughts. We could ask some of the following questions as a test…

  1. Does this activity help us to love God more or help others to love God more?
  2. Does this activity help us to love our neighbour more or show our love in a practical and helpful way?
  3. Does this activity helps us to grow in our faith and relationship with Christ or does it help us to be more effective in making disciples?

If we find that something we do or are thinking of doing doesn’t pass this filter test, we might then ask ourselves is this something we should be doing? Or perhaps would we be better of putting our time, energy and resources into something else?

Getting our mission right can help us to keep focussed and on track, but it can also help us to filter what we do and why we are doing it.