Parish Renewal Services
Catholic retreats and parish missions for building
enthusiastic involvement in time, talents, and treasures.

Homepage Our Team Healing Services Contact PRS   
Help for IndividualsParish StrategiesThe Way of Christ in the Midst of Scandals
Parish Renewal Services

How good is your mission statement?

Does your mission statement actually motivate people?

What's the point of even having a mission statement if it doesn't make a difference? If you took the mission statement of another parish and used it as your own, word for word, would there be anything in it that doesn't fit your parish?

Most Catholic churches in the U.S. have developed mission statements that are entirely interchangeable. So why have one? Is it just a gimmick, a fad we adopted from the business world because it seems cool to have one?

Can anyone who reads your mission statement remember it afterward?

To develop a description of your mission — the mission that's simultaneously the universal mission of Christ and the unique mission of your parish — have your staff and ministry leaders complete these three sentences:

  1. We are the people who ____________________ .
  2. We provide _____________________________ .
  3. We want to be seen as ____________________ .

Next, compile the answers and look for a common thread, the punchline, the words that are uniquely defining your particular parish. Which words trigger an emotional reaction? Highlight those.

Finally, play with the order of these highlighted words. Turn them and bridge them together and reorder them and continue to play with them until the team finds a catchy slogan in them. Nothing more than a paragraph. The shorter, the sweeter. You want it to be very memorable. You should be able to broadcast it on an easy-to-read-at-a-glance banner that you hang over the church's front doors.

Of course, first ask the Holy Spirit to guide this process. And keep at it until it's something that the team feels excited about. Not "satisfied" about, but actually excited. If it triggers this emotion in the team after staring at the words all this time, it will certainly be a mission statement that makes a difference. It will be a mission statement that's valuable. It will help define every ministry and organization of the parish.

Otherwise, ho hum, what's the point of even having one?

 † More Parish Strategies  

© 2007 by Terry Modica. All rights reserved. Copying for distribution is illegal without permission.