Mission, Mission, On The Wall


Andy Stanley once asked, “Is the statement on the wall actually happening down the hall?” Asked differently, “Is your mission statement simply a bunch of words that sound great or do they represent the heartbeat of your church at every level of ministry?” It can be very satisfying to develop your ministries mission, but it is ultimately a waste of time and energy if it just becomes empty words that are rarely mentioned in the context of weekly ministry.

I wonder how that applies to you? Has your mission been successfully integrated into everyday life in your organization? Here are a few indicators that may help you evaluate whether your ministry mission is simply a ‘On The Wall’ mission (words but no action) or a ‘Down The Hall’ (words and action) mission.

‘On The Wall’ Indicators:
If any of the following are TRUE then it may indicate missional slippage. In your next Strategic Meeting discuss how you can reintegrate your church mission into everyday ministry.

  • You can’t quote your mission from memory.
  • You haven’t personally quoted your mission statement in the last 3 weeks.
  • You haven’t mentioned your mission from the pulpit in the last month.
  • You haven’t “preached” your mission in the last 9 months.
  • You don’t teach your mission to new members in the membership class.
  • Your mission isn’t posted prominently somewhere in the facility and/or on your website.
  • Your mission is long – more than two short sentences.
  • None of your key staff, elders, or board can quote your mission.
  • Your ministry leaders have never heard you talk about how the ministry they lead fits into the church’s mission.
  • When someone introduces a new ministry idea you don’t automatically ask the question, “How will that help us fulfill our mission?”
  • You have never tried to evaluate your effectiveness through the lenses of your mission.
‘Down the Hall’ Indicators:
If any of the following are TRUE then it may indicate missional traction. In your next Strategic Meeting discuss how effective this has been and what else you might do to strengthen missional momentum. Obviously these indicators will seem familiarly similar but altogether different from the ‘On the Wall’ indicators.
  • You can quote it from memory right now.
  • Your leadership team has strategically discussed your church mission within the past year (to either develop it, evaluate it, or consider how effectively you are fulfilling it).
  • Your staff, elders, and board can quote your mission or something that closely reflects your mission.
  • Someone has mentioned your church mission in some form from the pulpit within the last three weeks (a worship leader, emcee, during a testimony, on the screens, or in the sermon).
  • You have ‘preached’ about your church mission within the past 9 months (that is, you have preached a message that directly points to why your church exists and/or how you are fulfilling your church mission).
  • Your mission is prominently displayed on your church website.
  • Your mission can be found in several places throughout the church (on the wall, church letterhead, business cards, bulletin, etc.).
  • Your Head Usher (or worship leader, children’s director, etc.) understands how the ministry they lead is fulfilling the church’s mission.
  • Every new member learns about the church’s mission and why it is important.
  • Your church mission reflects a deep passion within you personally. You get excited and emotional when you talk about it.

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