Like anyone who has served in a leadership role for a significant period of time, I have learned a lot about what I’m good at and what I’m not good at (I don’t think that’s good grammar but given the context of the sentence, I think it fits). One of the areas where I sometimes struggle is the communication of vision, which is bad because a clear and compelling vision is important to the success of any organization. I don’t know why this can be difficult for me. Maybe it’s because I spent so many of my earliest years of ministry just trying to survive. That began when I planted a church in Texas in 1981 without any help from a Church Planting organization, a “sending” church or even a mentor to guide me. I didn’t think about next year or beyond, I was just trying to figure out how to make it to next week. This survival mentality continued when I moved to Oklahoma in 1992 to lead a “turn-around” church (a church that had fallen on hard times and needed a re-boot). Whatever the reason, there’s no question that vision is a critical component of a dynamic church. So, to that end, let me share the vision of Mount Pleasant Christian Church, first, through some important statements.
Our Vision Statement: To be a church that is locally focused and globally engaged, with an undeniable IMPACT for Christ.
This is the Vision Statement that I, and our elders wrote several years ago as the result of working with a Leadership Consultant. As we talked and prayed about what we wanted our church to look like we came to the consensus conclusion that we wanted to be a church that made an IMPACT on the world for Christ, both locally and globally. That was our vision. And we are living out this vision every single day. Several years ago, while attending a conference, I heard a speaker say, “One of the best ways to evaluate the effectiveness of your church is to ask the question: If my church were gone tomorrow, would anyone notice?” The answer to that question for Mount Pleasant is, “Absolutely!” Our church makes an undeniable IMPACT for Christ, every single day, both here in our community and around the world.
Our Mission Statement: To change the world for Christ: one life, one family, one opportunity at a time.
If a Vision Statement describes the kind of church we want to be, a Mission statement describes how we get there. Simply stated, we try to make an IMPACT for Christ on every person and every family we meet, as well as through every opportunity that comes our way. We emphasize “one life and one family” because regardless of how large our church is, we want to do our best to have a personal ministry to people. Is that difficult, it absolutely is, but that’s our goal. We emphasize opportunity because sometimes, no matter how much we plan, God presents us with ministry opportunities that we didn’t expect. And those opportunities become, not just new ways to reach people and make an IMPACT, but a part of our vision as well. A good example would be the fact that we never had a vision for a Food and Clothing ministry. But through the persistence of a church member we began to explore that possibility and now we have the IMPACT Center on our campus that draws hundreds of people/families onto our campus each week, giving us the opportunity to share with them the love of Christ. And the success of our IMPACT Center has caused us to expand this ministry beyond our campus and community. Our first off-campus IMPACT ministry is taking place just south of downtown Indianapolis in the Old Southside neighborhood. We hired an IMPACT Old Southside Pastor (Jed Fuller) and purchased a building at 1431 S Meridian, Indianapolis (46225) and are getting ready to re-purpose that building to minister to that community and house a church. This is just the first of what we hope are several IMPACT ministries around the city. Once we identify communities in need we want to do three things. We want to LIVE in the community (Jed and his family live in the Old Southside community), LEARN about the community and we want to LOVE the community. This isn’t the traditional multi-site model embraced by most megachurches today, but it’s the model that we have embraced.
Our Strategies (What we do to stay focused on and live out our vision and mission):
- Compelling Weekend Worship
- Relational Discipleship (the ministry of small groups)
- Serving Others (across the street and around the world)
- Spiritual Influence *(to be introduced in August 2018)*
Our strategies reflect the things we promote for every member/attender in order to be the church that God has called us to be. We need people to be faithful in worship, to get connected to a small group (spiritual growth happens best in community), to serve in the ministries of the church (this service can happen weekly, monthly or beyond depending on you) and as I will be sharing with you in the future, we need our members/attenders to be committed to the kind of spiritual influence that can reach others with the message of Christ.
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about the church as the “body of Christ.” He says in verse 12, The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. (NIV) The overriding message is that the church needs all its members working together to be healthy. Your faithful participation in the strategies that drive our vision and mission, as well as your faithful, consistent and generous financial support will enable us to be a part of a ministry much bigger than ourselves…a ministry that has the potential to change the world. Let’s embrace this vision and change the world!