We often spend time taking about the importance of mission and vision for an organization. They guide what you do and help you make decisions.
Yet sometimes we lump mission and vision together, thinking they’re the same thing. While the two complement each other, one doesn’t replace the other. Here’s a look at how vision, mission and organizational goals all fit together.
Vision: Your vision is looking forward to who you want to be as an organization. What impact do you want to make? What can you be the best in world at doing?
Your vision should be something your members and community can rally around. Those stakeholders should be a part of the visioning process, too. A vision should stir emotion. Make your vision specific. Make it memorable. Keep it simple enough that people can easily share it. Push yourself to go beyond something generic.
Mission: Once your vision is in place, it’s time to work on your mission statement. Your mission gives more specifics and practical points on how your organization will carry out your vision. What are you going to do and why are you doing it? Why do you exist?
Some organizations will express their mission, or support their statement, through listing core values. However you choose to do it, create a roadmap for how you will arrive at your vision. And like your vision, your mission doesn’t need to be an essay, but instead something people can easily consume and share.
Here are some examples from churches of how vision can work together.
- Vintage Church
- Vision: Vintage exists to make much of Jesus. We do that by making disciples who know the gospel, live the gospel and advance the gospel.
- Mission: Vintage strives to be a vibrant worshiping community committed to seeing people become everything God designed them to be and seeing their city become everything God desires it to be. We will replicate these communities by planting churches across [our community] and throughout the world.
- Vision: To continue to grow as a community of believers radically devoted to Christ, irrevocably committed to one another and relentlessly dedicated to reaching those outside God's family with the Gospel of Christ.
- Mission (laid out in core values with more description on their website): Intimacy With God, Authentic Relationships, Life Transformation, God’s Unique Design of People, Community Impact and Sacrificial Living
- NorthRidge Church
- Vision and mission presented in one combined statement of 16 words: Wake the world up to Jesus (vision). Show them His love. Tell them His Truth. Involve Them (mission).
Organizational Goals: Now that you’ve laid out where you want to go and how you hope to get there, it’s time to get to work in making it happen. Organizational goals establish a framework for how your team will work to make your mission come to life. A common way to set goals is to use the SMART method. Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based.
Knowing your organization’s vision and mission helps you be better communicators. You know what’s important and where to focus. It lets you set communication goals. It makes it easier to say yes to the right things and no to others.