Fulfilling Christ's call to love God, live in community, and serve our neighbor

Do You Have a Vision of Our Mission?

From mission to vision, Pastor Ginny Tobiassen describes the evolution

A mission statement is a way of saying why an organization exists, or communicating its purpose. The Home Church mission statement is:

Fulfilling Christ’s call to love God, live in community, and serve our neighbor.

This statement lists three actions that together make up our purpose, which is fulfilling Christ’s call. Home Church exists to fulfill the call of Jesus Christ through love, community, and service. That’s our mission.

A mission is not the same thing as a goal; it doesn’t have an endpoint. We won’t come to a time when we can brush off our hands and say with satisfaction: “Well, we have given the world enough love, community, and service that our work here is done.”

And yet… imagine what the world would look like then! To imagine the church’s work fully realized is to have a vision. That vision can inspire us to keep working, because we can see how our work can shape the future.

On the first Sunday of January, our Home Church Visioning Team presented a vision statement to inspire our congregation and guide us toward the future. What could that future look like, if we remain true to our call? Here’s what the team envisions:

A church engaged, a community healed, a world transformed.

If we do the work to which we are called, we as a church will be engaged: deepening and strengthening our relationships with God, with each other, and with our neighbors.

When we are engaged in deep relationships, we can be agents of healing, promoting restoration and wholeness within creation and society. We can work to see a community healed.

When a community is healed, the ripples spread outward, potentially touching the whole world with the powers of redemption and renewal. The result could be a world transformed.

That’s the statement. What’s the action? What concrete things can we do to move toward this vision of “a church engaged, a community healed, a world transformed”?

First of all, the visioning team wants to see Home Church members ministering in ways that are meaningful to them—especially new ways of which they have dreamed. If you have an idea or a passion for a new ministry—if you’ve said to yourself, “Why can’t we…?” or “I wonder if anyone else is interested in…,” perhaps it’s time to turn your idea into action. Home Church will be looking for ways to help you connect with others and empower your new ministry!

Another recommendation is the creation of new spiritual growth opportunities. Over the next year, expect to hear about new small groups and other ways of deepening our relationships with God and one another.

One way to stay focused on our mission and vision is to practice assessment of our ministries through the “action-reflection” model. Basically, this means that the people involved in a ministry should regularly pause to reflect together on their work. Where have they seen God? What disappointments or regrets have they experienced? What are their hopes for the future of the ministry, and what steps are they taking to fulfill those hopes? The visioning team recommends that all ministry groups—from core committees to prayer-shawl knitters, from handbell ringers to Candle Tea leaders—practice regular self-assessment through “action-reflection.” (The booklet produced by the visioning team offers guidance for this process.)

Also: Remember back last February, when we considered the assets of Home Church and wound up with hundreds of them written on sheets of paper and taped to the walls of the Fellowship Hall? We kept a list—which you can see on the Home Church website. The visioning team recommends that the pastoral staff, core committees, and ministry teams of Home Church reflect at least annually on those assets as a resource for current and developing ministries. We look forward to putting some of those assets to work in new ways!

The Board of Elders is appointing an implementation team to put these recommendations into action. As we go forward, we pray that Home Church’s mission—our work to fulfill Christ’s call—will continually open our eyes to the vision of “a church engaged, a community healed, a world transformed.”

—Ginny Tobiassen