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Say it, Show it, Be it: Mission Statements


I never thought mission and vision statements were that important until I came across organizations that didn’t know why they even existed. This is a common shortcoming of the least likely places including the church. The church should be the last place to be without vision or mission, but sadly, our mantra is often missed by people (and parishioners) our churches daily encounter. I have had conversations with congregants and pastors that were not able to articulate the vision or mission of the church. I have heard such comments like, “Well, I guess we exist to worship God,” or “Well, I’m not really sure what our mission is—maybe to be good people?” While yes, it’s great to worship God, it can essentially be done out of the context of Church. Yes, it is lovely to be good people but there are great people everywhere. So the question prevails, why does your organization exist? What is your purpose, where are you going and who are you doing it for?

An organization without vision makes it impossible to lead others to a destination. Leaders must be the ones to provide vision and to frame the “why” in everything you do. When crafting your mission statement make sure it has these two elements:

  1. Know the why in your “why.”

Do you know why your organization exists? Is it to make it easier for people to communicate? Or maybe it’s for people to have a transformational experience with Jesus. Either way, you have to actually sit down and think about what you’re hoping people will experience when they buy your product or walk in your doors. If you don’t know why you exist, chances are that people and customers aren’t going to know why they gave your product a chance and are less likely to return. Transformation starts with the vision and ends with movement—make it easier for people to do that through casting good vision and mission.

  1. Keep it clean so that it can shine.

There is nothing worst than coming across a mission statement that is impossible to memorize and quickly spout off. Make sure your mission statement is clear and concise so that it becomes second nature for people in your organization to articulate it. Making sure your mission statement is clear and concise will allow it to stand on its own and shine. By doing so, you’re leaving zero room for confusion as to what your purpose is. If your mission statement can’t be said in just a few words, you’re overthinking it and making it difficult for people to come alongside your goal.

I have a personal mission statement that I’m going to share for you so that you have an idea of what a clean and simple mission statement looks like. My mission is the following, “Creatively helping others pursue their gifts and purpose through a catalytic relationship with Jesus.” That’s it; there aren’t multiple points or even sentences. I can spout it off when someone asks why I’m engaged in ministry, or why I write—“to creatively help others pursue their gifts and purpose through a catalytic relationship with Jesus.” Having a clean mission statement helps me stay on mission and to not deviate away from where God has called me.

Okay, now that you’ve crafted a mission statement, say it, show it, and be it. Say it as often as you can in staff meetings, or on the stage of your church. Show it in all your literature, your website, and your branding. Be it in your ethos and values as an organization. Live towards daily expressions of your mission and you will notice more and more people getting on board for what you’re attempting to accomplish. Be missional, and be a visionary.

Three Steps Every Communicator Should Take to Prepare.



For some of the more seasoned communicators these steps will be elementary, however certainly a good reminder. For those of you that are just starting your call to ministry, I find these steps helpful in my preparation. I hope you find them helpful too. Communication is your opportunity to creatively connect the dots between people’s experience and faith, so do it justice. So here are three steps every communicator should take to prepare a talk.

  1. Do your homework. 

Pastors, I beg you—please do your homework.  Spend time with your talk; let it stew in your brain for a few days (at least). Read as many secondary sources as you can get your hands on for your topic, read, read some more, read commentaries, listen to music, and watch movies on your topic.   You should never write your talk the day before you’re giving it, that doesn’t do justice to creating space for God to communicate through you. Be ahead of your sermon by at least one week, meaning you should have your sermon written the Sunday before it is given.  This will allow you enough time to make major edits and to rework areas that simply don’t work.


  1. Manuscript

There is nothing worse than hearing a communicator that hasn’t thought through the implications of her or his words.  Clearly lay out what you’re attempting to convey by crafting the single most persuasive thing you want to leave your audience thinking and go from there.  By starting at the end, you know the direction of your talk.  Write exactly what you want to say so that you’re not deviating from the point of your talk.

I realize that some of you are great at speaking off-the-cuff and sensing the movement of the Spirit. However, I’m willing to bet that this is not a gift of a majority of communicators. For those of you that have a habit of sensing God calling you to add points to your sermon at the last minute, I would recommend resisting the urge to edit while communicating. Trust that God has illuminated in advance, what he wants your congregation to hear.  Don’t get yourself in trouble because you haven’t thought through what you’ve added last minute (this includes terrible jokes).

  1. Outline and Memorize

Congrats, you’ve made a manuscript now shrink it to an outline and start to memorize key points.  By outlining your talk, you’re assuring that you don’t lose your voice.  Far too often when reading directly from the manuscript we start reading instead of communicating for understanding.  I’m very guilty of this, but I’ve come to realize that it’s a crutch for our own comfort.  Memorize key points and transitions from your talk, it will help things flow nicely and you can walk away from your outline and make stronger connections with your audience.   Don’t just say it–show it.

What have you found helpful when preparing a sermon or talk?

I’d love to know for my own communication habits.

Create Conference 2015

For those of us who serve the same people in the same place week after week, it can be incredibly refreshing to be encountered by new people and new ideas. In fact, we need this kind of engagement if we want to keep growing as leaders. This is why we love conferences, and are so honored to be a part of a select few each year. First on the docket for us is one that we’ve been involved with for several years now – Create Conference in St. Catharines, Ontario.

The team at Create does a great job of creating an experience that makes all of us better leaders and better communicators. This year, keynotes include creative leaders like Tod Poison, Animator and Storyteller, Whitney George of Church on the Move, and pastoral leaders like Brent Cantelon, Carey Neuhoff, Jonathan Lambert, and Bill Markham. You’ll be inspired by the worship, encouraged and challenged by the speakers, and changed by the relationships you’ll forge with other creative leaders in the church.

We love this conference and the passionate folks who have put it on for four years now. Don’t let the name fool you – this is not just a conference for creatives – it’s for your whole team! From senior pastors to worship leaders to kids and student pastors, everyone on your church leadership can benefit from the time of renewal and learning. We’re thrilled to be apart of it and hope to see you there.

(Side note: the conference is about 15 minutes from Niagara Falls, so why not load up the van and bring the whole fam?!)

The Playlist: 5 Must Have Songs for May

As sunshine begins to put this past cold winter behind us for good, many of us are praising the Lord! I know I am thanking God that there is no more ice on the streets or freezing cold winds; but I, admittedly, am a warm-weather person. Summertime is almost upon us and as this new season approaches, I become very contemplative. Some of my most vivid and cherished memories involve summer vacations, time spent with friends, and just enjoying the outdoors. Who doesn’t love walking outside to a beautiful day and just breathing in that warm summer air? As you all get excited about what the next few months hold, turn some of these moments into worship. Our May edition of The Playlist will help you reflect on the Maker of the Universe. He smiles when you enjoy His creation and remember Him!

letitbejesuschartsLet It Be Jesus by Passion featuring Christy Nockels
Christian Song Charts


Brilliance-Brother-Album-FBrother by The Brilliance
Christian Song Charts


touchthesky(leadsheet)Prince of Peace by Hillsong United
Christian Song Charts


b8f292d4b6bd23aa656051eaadbb01e9d9563172Soul on Fire by Third Day / Featuring All Sons & Daughters


7 Free Media Resources for May

May I inform you about some new free media? I promise each piece is better than that pun! The freebies for May include a kids song track version of 10,000 Reasons, an audio song track by Vineyard, a worship intro mini movie by Freebridge Media, 2 motion backgrounds, a song chart by Christy Nockels, and a stock video representing community. Be sure to download these new resources for your ministry and share them with your media-loving acquaintances and friends! And if you really want to, you can share the pun – that’s free too.

Spring Flora by Graceway Media – Motion Background

Download the free Motion Background at (Available through May 31)

An Offering of Worship by Freebridge Media – Mini MovieDownload the free Mini Movie at (Available through May 31)

10,000 Reasons by Uncle Charlie – Song TrackDownload the free song track at (Available through May 31)

Stellar Light 3 by Life Scribe Media – Motion BackgroundDownload the free countdown at (Available through May 31)

No Longer Strangers by Vineyard – Audio Song TrackDownload the free audio song track at (Available through May 31)

If You Never by Christy Nockels – Song ChartDownload the free song chart at (Available through May 31)

Stock Video by Pearl – Video ClipDownload the free video clip at (Available through May 31)

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