Tuesday, November 08, 2011

What is Mission? - post #1

We hear the word "mission" thrown around a lot. What does it mean? What is its theoretical or theological definition? What is its "working definition"?

This first post is consciously not taken from the Bible. (We'll get there.)   In part, this is because I think that the word "mission" has been used and overused by corporations, schools, organizations and teams so that the notion of having a mission tied to the higher purposes of God is one that is more quaint, and more theoretical / theological and perhaps not the "working definition" these days at all.  What are the working definitions of "mission" or "mission statement"... are we clear about what our mission is as a believer in Jesus Christ, is the church clear about her mission?  What are the competing missions?  How do vision and mission interact?

Good questions to begin to ponder, no?

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

 Here is what Wikipedia says about mission statements:

"Mission statement

A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making. It provides "the framework or context within which the company's strategies are formulated."[1] Historically it is associated with Christian religious groups; indeed, for many years, a missionary was assumed to be a person on a specifically religious mission. The word "mission" dates from 1598, originally of Jesuits sending ("missio", Latin for "act of sending") members abroad.[2]

The vision and the mission statements are often confused with one another, and some organizations even use them interchangeably. In simple terms, the mission is the organization's reason for existence, and vision is what it wants to be."

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