Like most churches, United Evangelical Free Church struggles to fulfill her purpose. Oh, we know what it is. We have multiple statements and documents that tell us what our vision, mission, goals, purpose, philosophy, and core values are. I should know. I’ve written most of them.
That, in itself, is the problem. We have too many different statements. It’s hard for people to remember them all, let alone know what they mean.
Over the past year, our youth pastor and I have read Simple Church: Returning to God’s process of making disciples, by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger, and Essential Church?: Reclaiming a generation of dropouts, by Thom Rainer and Sam Rainer. The books challenged me to think through what we were trying to accomplish as a church. They prompted me to sift through all the statements we had written about our vision, mission, goals, and philosophy. In addition, I read what my previous church had crafted for their purpose. In the midst of my reflection, I have been preaching a series trying to clarify our purpose and cast vision for the next year.
The result was the development of the following diagram and revised purpose statement. Between the two, they synthesize all of our statements on vision, mission, goals, and philosophy into one phrase that captures the irreducible minimum of what we as a church are all about. It also communicates the idea of movement towards maturity.
At United Evangelical Free Church, we are “Building a community to change the world.” We seek to Glorify God by Connecting people to Christ, the church, and one another; so that we can Grow in our faith, character, and skills; in order to Serve the cause of Christ with our time, talents, and treasures; and to Share the message of the gospel where we live, work, and go to school; both locally, and as far around the world as we can reach.
If you have difficulty reading the picture, here is a pdf file of the statement and diagram.