I’ve been talking about how individuals and churches get off-balance, and asking questions about our core church culture. I explained our Mission Statement given by our Founder as: “Go into all the world…teaching them to observe and to do all things I commanded you.
I explained that a mission statement is the core of what a company, or in this case the church, is all about. In business, all things a company does should be traceable back to that Mission Statement.
A mission statement is then followed by a Vision Statement, which is how the founder (Founder) sees the mission fulfilled. The Vision can be found within the Mission Statement. Let me explain…
McDonald’s is my kind of place, (clap, clap), a clean and happy place, a…
Sorry, had a flashback to childhood there. You will recall McDonald’s Mission Statement from last week:
“McDonald’s vision is to be the world’s best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.”
Ray Kroc is the name of the man who took McDonald’s to where it is today. It was his and his leadership team’s guidance of how to apply his Mission Statement that built McDonald’s.
You may ask where that vision is found in the Mission Statement, but if you look closely, you will see it as Ray Kroc first did. The Mission Statement says in part… ‘we make every customer in every restaurant smile’. How did Ray see that happening? By a big clown named Ronald McDonald of course!
So the Vision is how the Founder sees the Mission fulfilled.
He already sent in the clowns…
Ronald McDonald is a great symbol for kids to identify with, but what about for mom and dad driving along down the road looking for someplace to feed the herd?
What if instead of a big rounded yellow ‘M’, Mr. Kroc and his Executives had chosen to put a 15 foot (5m) tall plastic Ronald McDonald clown as their sign and emblem? No, I can’t see it either. The ‘M’ is what Ray saw.
And of course Ray Kroc grew McDonald’s through franchising. A franchise is a wholly owned unit that is an exact duplicate of the Founder’s vision, and is run according to the Founder’s Mission Statement. That way all the thousands of franchises around the world offer the same basic foods and values to their customers. No matter which McDonald’s you go to, you know what you’re getting.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Jesus is our Founder of course. He gave us our Mission Statement, and oversees the application of His vision for the body of Christ to this day. We can go back to our Mission Statement to see how our Founder intended the Mission to be fulfilled.
“Go into all the world, teaching them to observe and to do all things I commanded you.”
So what is Jesus’ Vision of how our Mission will be fulfilled? His vision was to do the Mission within relationsips. When He said to ‘teach them to observe and do’, you can’t do that outside of relationships.
We’ve been raised to think discipleship happens through anointed meetings in large auditoriums, but the Mission Statement provides a vision of spiritual sons and daughters who are observing and doing what they’ve seen us walk through with and in Christ.
Here is a thought…
Jesus will only lead us in accordance with the Mission Statement. The Holy Spirit will only guide and teach us in accordance with the Mission Statement. Anything we want of the Father will only be given and can only be received within the confines of the Mission Statement.
When we kick and cry and complain and stomp our feet because God won’t lead us contrary to His vision of discipleship within relationships, He isn’t moved.
When we purposely step back from the relationships found within the vision of being a spiritual father or mother, or spiritual son or daughter, He can’t do a lot for us or with us. He will continue to live within, but He can’t GO where we are spiritually. And when that happens, it feels like God has left us. In a way, He has, for He cannot back off from relationships He gave in His own Mission Statement, so we miss out on that part of Him.
Satan knows Jesus’ Mission and Vision of seeing the Mission fulfilled within relationships. So Satan’s
mission is to divide us, to try to cause us to break fellowship because he knows it is only within those relationships we become more Christ-like.
His vision of how to do that is to cause offense, self-righteousness, arrogance, distractions, and a host of other means that all lead back to his mission of making every person an island all alone in this world. That way if we are not in relationship with others, we can’t grow in Christ.
(Head knowledge is not growing folks, that’s being a hearer only and not a doer, as James said, or as Paul said ‘ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth’)
So Satan does all he can to stir us up to be offended and separate ourselves from others.
He said, she said
When Barb and I were dating at age 17, we’d drive out to a farmhouse on Saturday nights to have a ‘prayer & praise’ meeting with a couple dozen other teens and young adults. Without fail, in the 20 minutes between picking her up and driving to the meeting, we’d get in a fight.
Finally we realized we were acting like children, and worse, being used by the devil to ruin our night and what God had for us at that meeting and within those relationships inside.
So we would sit in the car outside until we forgave one another and talked through it. Here we are 35 years later and I can’t remember a single thing we argued about back then. But I do remember the day we got smart, realized it didn’t matter who was right or wrong, or how offended we were, only that we loved each other and we were determined not to let the devil have his way dividing us, and we’d go inside to those we were in relationship with in the Lord and have a wonderful meeting.
We chose to grow in Christ in accordance with His Mission Statement, and it remains the only way the Holy Spirit will lead you, as He can only lead according to that Mission Statement…growth is hard. Growth is a series of small decisions to do what Jesus said no matter what your emotions say.
Remember above where I mentioned McDonald’s grew through franchises, each one a duplicate of what was on the founder’s heart, so that no matter at which one you eat, you know what you are getting? Ever wonder why churches aren’t like that? Suppose it has something to do with not following the Mission Statement and Vision of OUR Founder? That’s the new but related topic of next week, blessings!