Treble clef with wires, birds and notes on wires
How would you tweet your mission?
How would you tweet your mission?

Having a clearly articulated mission statement helps to guide a congregation’s leaders in deciding where to put their energy and resources.  But often such statements are put together by a committee and can be a bit….(I hate to say it)…wordy. Last year I visited Western Michigan, where the rest of my family still lives. The area has strong Dutch Reformed roots.  Grand Rapids (where I grew up) is the home of Calvin College, several Bible colleges and a some well-regarded Christian book publishers. The Grand Rapids Press has a weekly religion section (not just a page) and there are three full pages of church advertisements vying for the attention of the unchurched. Most of the churches who advertised articulated their mission—who they were in the context of the wider community—in a clear, short statement; one that could easily fit into the 140 character limit of a twitter message. The theology of the congregation wasn’t always apparent in the mission statement.  I thought it might be fun to look at the different mission statements removed from their denominational affiliation.

  1. A Multi-Ethnic Church
  2. Rooted in Truth, Reaching Out with Grace
  3. The Church on the Hill
  4. We Welcome and Celebrate Diversity
  5. 96 years in ministry
  6. A place where devotion and compassion meet
  7. Alive in the City – Embracing the World
  8. An Inclusive, Progressive Community of Faith
  9. Authentic Church for the Modern World
  10. Be aware. Be grateful. Be kind.
  11. Classic Worship, Liberating Theology
  12. Come and enjoy our traditional style worship services.
  13. Come Share the Spirit
  14. Cultivating Religious Freedom, Diversity, Inquiry, and Community
  15. Free the Mind…Grow the Soul…Change the World
  16. From 1849 to today.
  17. Join us in worship this weekend
  18. Seeking God, Following Christ, Serving Others
  19. Spiritual Growth, Fellowship, Support and Service Opportunities for All Ages
  20. Spiritual without being religious
  21. The Church with a Heart
  22. Your church home

What assumptions might you make about each faith community? What is their mission—i.e. the work that God is calling them to do in the world? Is it their mission one that calls to you as well? May we find ways to articulate our own missions (whether on the church website’s homepage, a church Facebook® page or even in a newspaper ad) in a way that those who are not yet a part of our faith communities are inspired to join with us. (For the curious, here are the denominational identities of the churches whose mission statements I shared above.)

  1. Assembly of God
  2. Christian Reformed
  3. Congregational
  4. Church of God in Christ
  5. Lutheran
  6. The Salvation Army
  7. United Methodist
  8. Trinity United Methodist
  9. Undenominational
  10. Interfaith
  11. Reformed Church in America
  12. Baptist
  13. Lutheran
  14. Unitarian Universalist
  15. Unaffiliated Liberal
  16. Congregational
  17. Undenominational, Bible-based
  18. United Methodist
  19. Presbyterian Church
  20. Unity
  21. Presbyterian
  22. Assembly of God

About the Author

  • Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) has served as a Congregational Life Consultant in the Central East Region since September of 2010. She serves congregation in Northeast Ohio and Western New York. She is part of the LeaderLab Design team providing Leadership Development resources and other trainings to congregations.

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