“Claiming our Mission” Day 2, Day 3 of Classes. “A church that is not growing has a mission problem.” – Robert Latham
Mission is simply a bit misty and hard to nail down unless you are working on one. It seems, from the coursework, and my thought, that our mission is based on what we value, guided by the vision we hope to achieve, and sets the path through which we plan to walk, and work, towards that vision.
Ultimately, I think that mission is that part of our existence where what we do influences (not defines) who we are. Of course, there is something intrinsic in us that lives on, we have basic worth, still, like many things in life, our worth requires cultivation. If we never invest into our worth, we find ourselves growing less and less sure of ourselves. When we do work in our lives that sustains our sense of self-worth, that is rewarding and uplifts us.
I think that mission is a part of that work; we start with our values, the things we feel are important. If we can clarify those, we can set a vision of what we would hope to create in the world around us. Then, we can say, “Ok, now lets go towards that.” There we go! Mission.
For example, if as a community, we value inspiring people, we can say that our vision is to create a space where people can come to be inspired, uplifted and to find a kind of spiritual joy. From that we can say, Ok, so, our mission is to create a community that fosters spiritual joy, inspiration and faith.
Then the real work begins. We look at everything we do together, all our programs, all our worship, our governance, and bit by bit, we fine-tune it with the questions, “How does this serve our mission of fostering spirtual joy, inspiration and faith?” and “How could it do so better?”
Powerful work. When we remember to keep it right in front of us, day in and day out, moment to moment, in all we do. That, is a good work. Its hard to do, and it delivers great rewards.
Next up, Building Beloved Community. Day 4. Third day of 13-14 hours of classes and study. Phew.