The 2008 General Conference of the United Methodist Church decided on the following as the mission statement of the UM Church:
We exist to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
I have been thinking about mission statements for several years, ever since I did an internship at Southland Christian Church, whose mission statement at the time was To connect the unconnected and together grow in full devotion to Him. I heard that articulated by every leader in every ministry. The youth ministry existed to connect the unconnected and together grow in full devotion to Him. The mission of the choir was to connect the unconnected and together grow in full devotion to Him. The custodial staff worked to connect the unconnected and together grow in full devotion to Him. Every ministry was on the same page. Of course, what it looked like was different in each area, but it was the same mission.
When I was at Stonybrook, I led a charge to come up with a mission statement. I had some influence but not much, and I got some support from the then-senior pastor, and we adopted a new mission statement. Unfortunately, the statement was adopted but then (for all practical purposes) discarded and nothing changed. We had zero buy-in. Thus when the new senior pastor came and asked about changing the mission statement, I had no reservations about it.
At New Knoxville, I once asked the board what our mission statement was. Though it was printed on the front page of every newsletter (and it might have been at the top of the board meeting minutes!), nobody could rattle it off. I mostly got blank looks. I was hot to get us going on a new mission statement, but I never had peace about it in my prayers. I kept feeling like I needed to wait. There's a huge difference in pushing something through because you want it and waiting on God's timing (see under: me trying to get a mission statement developed and in place at Stonybrook).
I feel like soon will be the time to develop the mission of the United Methodist Church at Millersport. Does it have to be our own wording, or does the official UM Mission Statement work for us? After all, the official UM wording doesn't talk about implementation, the "how-to" of it. It doesn't define discipleship or transformation, leaving it open to us to define what that looks like in our contexts.
What do you think about it?