Empowering Vision, Mission and Value Statements.
If you do not have these three statements, or if you have them but are not using them to guide your organization's work, you are missing out on some of the simplest and most effective governance tools you could find. These statements of your Vision, your Mission and your Values can define and guide your organization's ability to create an empowered and prosperous future of your ministry and spiritual community!
Vision vs Mission:
We can't really begin the discussion of the Vision Statement and the Mission Statement without first addressing the semantic difference between the two. Get 10 consultants in a room, and you may get 10 different answers to just what that difference is. To distinguish between Vision and Mission in our own work, we have defaulted back to the plain English usage of those words.
The simplest way we have found to show that difference in usage is to add the letters "ary" to the end of each word: Visionary and Missionary. A visionary is someone who sees what is possible, who sees the potential. A missionary is someone who makes that potential and possibility a reality. Your organization's vision is all about what is possible, all about that potential. The mission is what it takes to make that vision come true.
If your Vision Statement is a statement of what is possible, the picture of the future you want to create, the critical question is then, "Vision for whom? For what?" From the perspective of your ministry's ability to accomplish as much community impact as possible, now and into the future, the only answer can be that your ministry's vision is for the future you want to create for the community you wish to impact.
An effective Vision Statement will therefore tell the world what change you wish to create for the future, of the community you serve, and the world in which you live. Example:
Our vision is a community where _______________.
Our vision is a community that _______________.
Your Vision Statement will therefore answer the big question - WHY are you doing what you are doing? The most effective way to bring INTEGRITY to your Vision, Mission and Values is to consider your Vision as an expression of your Values, and your Mission as how you plan to make that happen.
Your Mission Statement will turn your vision into practice. The Mission Statement is the one that will actually do the work. Again, it is easy to see what the Mission Statement needs to do if we go back to plain English usage. Consider the phrase "mission accomplished." The mission is the doing part - it is what you will do to bring that vision to reality.
Our vision is a community and world where ________________.
To bring that vision into reality, we do ______________________.
To expand on the practical part of your Mission Statement, you might add where you do your work, and for whom, to further describe what you do. Mission Statements should not be flowery and overblown. Keep it simple, simple, simple!
The only way we can create an amazing future for your ministry is if you establish your vision and mission as an expression of your ministry's and spiritual community's spiritual values. A Values Statement provides the tools for the organization to accomplish that. First, the Values Statement will look outside the organization, to the visionary outcomes you want to create for your ministry, spiritual community, and the world. What values will need to be present in your spiritual community and the world for your vision to come to pass? Most importantly your values statement looks from within to without and asks: Who do we have to be, become, enable and empower the world to be, become, in order to realize our vision and mission.
The 3 Statements in Practice:
The Vision Statement, Mission Statement and Values Statements are practical tools that will enable and empower your board, your mission teams, your ministry to be goal directed in the realization and manifestation of the vision of your values through the application of your mission, for the good of your spiritual community and the world. Here are just a few ways these statements can be used to further your work ...
- Have your Vision, Mission and Values displayed in your ministry / sanctuary.
- Have your Vision, Mission and Values published in your bulletin.
- Have your ministry's goals and strategic plan aligned and in integrity with such.
- Have your mission teams have missions aligned with such.
- Begin board meetings by repeating and aligning with such.
- Review all your ministry's ongoing business to align with such.
- Do periodic evaluations of the minister, ministry, teams, ect. in terms of such.
Having identified Values, an inspired Vision and determined Mission, gives your ministry the tools necessary to fulfill its infinite Divine potential and possibility in the world. It is healthy to see these as living faith documents and to bless them with prayer and reflection as often as possible. Build these declarations of your good into all the plans and activities of your ministry. Take time to review, revision and revitalize such at least every 3 years.
This blog post was adapted from an article prepared by by Hildy Gottlieb at help4nonprofits.com.
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