Rewriting a Church Mission Statement

The cartoon above (and the one below) are from the delightful series St. Swithin's. I recently participated in a session aimed at identifying core values of our church, and so I can appreciate how close to home the cartoon hits.

Our pastor used a denominational resource that was very helpful, asking us to come up with a list, but then, setting off in pioneering fashion with limited space, we had to then combine and jettison in order to remain with just a small number of essentials.

This was an articulation of core values, and not a statement of faith or creed. The list that we collectively ended up with was this:

  1. Care
  2. Creativity
  3. Discipleship
  4. Diversity
  5. Faith
  6. Mission
  7. Worship

I think that list does indeed get at core values that are important to Crooked Creek Baptist Church.

One suggestion that I was happy to see not make the list, but which one table proposed, was “Biblical teaching.” My objection was that everyone thinks their values are “Biblical teaching.” But for some, having a table of women voice their view on our church core values would itself be considered contrary to Biblical teaching! And so by all means value Biblical teaching, but articulate expliclty what core values you consider to result from doing so.

Let me close with another delightful cartoon by the same cartoonist, another one that hits close to home in symbolically depicting the resistance to change in many churches:


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  • AJ

    Would you mind sharing the “denominational resource” that your pastor used to get you started? Thanks!

    • James F. McGrath

      As David posted below, I think the book was Tom Bandy, Moving Off the Map

  • David Miller

    I’ve used a resource that sounds like that. It was from a book by Tom Bandy, Moving Off the Map.

    • James F. McGrath

      Thanks – I think that’s it!