The Basic Essentials of Christian Leadership
Module 3 : Mission, Vision and Values
Getting Started          


Helen Keller, probably one of the most recognized blind persons who has ever lived, once said,
"What would be worse than being born blind?
      ....[it would be] to have sight without vision."

What does it mean to have a vision from God? That is a question that has been the subject of dozens of books over the past several years and the more one reads, the more confused one can become!

But all the authors agree on one thing.  People need to understand any organisation or church they belong to or wish to join.

They should know about the following:

  • The purpose of the organisation or church
  • What the organisation or church dreams to become
  • The guiding principles of the organisation or church


In this module, we will look at each one of these. 
Though not all leadership theorists agree with me, I am going to call....

  • The purpose of the church :                    Mission
  • What your church dreams to become :     Vision
  • The guiding principles of your church :   Values


The mission of all churches anywhere in the world is found in Matthew 6:10‘
     'Thy Kingdom come….. on earth as it is in heaven’

It is to extend the Kingdom of God on earth (Peace, joy and righteousness  - Romans 14:17). 
This is largely done by responding to ...
       the Great Command [Matthew 22:37 to 39],
            and the Great Commission [Matthew 28:19]



Mission Statement

It is helpful to summarise the mission of your church in a short and memorable statement.  This is called a Mission Statement.

A Mission Statement is a declaration of the purpose of an organization or church.

Its reason for existing.

Below are some examples







  • ‘We exist to bring people into the kingdom of God and build members towards Christian community’
  • ‘To grow together as disciples of Jesus, to demonstrate the Kingdom of God and to proclaim Jesus as Lord’

All organisations should have a Mission Statement. 
Here is Mission Statement of the Electricity Company of Ghana

  • ‘To provide quality, safe and reliable electricity services to support the economic growth and development of Ghana.’

Mission Possible UK has a Mission Statement which is:

  • ‘To advance the Christian faith through leadership training, the distribution of Christian literature and serving families and children at risk’



Mission and Mission Statements are about why you exist.
So once agreed, they do not usually change generation to generation.

Scripture makes it very clear what the mission of the church is. 
So for a church, agreeing your mission and writing a mission statement should be a simple task.



Vision is not about why you exist but about what your organisation or church is dreaming to become.

It is about moving from where you are now to a new and better place.

It involves change.

Scripture teaches ‘Where there is no vision the people perish’ [Proverbs 29: 18]. 

The word "vision" is translated in different ways in varying translations of God's Word. But the Hebrew word means,
        "vision, revelation or divine communication."



So the big question is how we receive this vision or divine communication.

Where vision does not come from:

  • Duplicating success

We can learn much from the latest seminar, popular book on church growth or growing churches in our area.  But you cannot copy vision. 
Vision is something given by God specifically for your situation.

  • Opportunity-driven vision

You see an opportunity - a 'gap in the market' as commercial companies say – and you seek to exploit this opportunity.
For sure, Christian leaders will seek to evaluate opportunities but this is not the same as being given a vision from God



What do you think are the dangers of trying to copy the success of others?

Where are the problems with only reacting to opportunities?




Where does Vision comes from?

  • Directional divine communication
    This is vision obtained through divine revelation.  See Habakkuk 2:3 and Acts 10.  Normally it comes to an individual who may not be expecting it and not to a group.  As with prophecy, such directional divine communication needs to be tested
  • A group seeking God for vision
    In Acts 6:5 and Acts 15:7 there are examples of groups seeking God’s guidance regarding the way forward. This approach involves:
    • Prayer
    • Discussion
    • Seeking divine guidance
    • Being in agreement/ of one mind (see Acts 4:32)

      Keep meeting and praying until you have an agreed vision


What might Vision look like?


All churches will seek to achieve their mission in 4 core ministry ways

  1. Evangelism/Outreach [Acts2:38]
  2. Discipleship training [Acts 2:42]
  3. Prayer and worship [Acts 2:42 and 47]
  4. Fellowship and pastoral care [Acts 2:44]

These four ways as found in the early church [Acts 2] are the same for any church in any part of the world in the 21st century.



In many churches, one of the above is given a greater emphasis than the others.  This usually reflects the gifts of the pastor or past traditions of the church:

  • A great classroom church with emphasis on ‘knowing’
  • A great soul winning church with emphasis on ‘saving’
  • A great worshipping church with emphasis on ‘feeling’
  • A great fellowship church with emphasis on ‘belonging'


The consequences of an imbalanced emphasis can be:

  • A church with an imbalance towards worship and fellowship can become a holy huddle
  • A church with an imbalance towards fellowship and social action can become a welfare agency
  • A church with an imbalance towards teaching can become like a school
  • A church with an imbalance towards soul winning can become like a permanent crusade

The vision God gives you for change may include changes in all 4 core ministry ways.
But it could be building further on the existing strengths of the church
- or -
rebalancing with a vision for change in one or two  ministry ways in which you are weak.

Be open to which of these God wants for your church today.


  The Characteristics of a Vision      

Visions are:

  • consistent with scripture
  • clear and shareable
  • not easily attainable (only possible with God)
  • able to stir the imagination


Good idea or God idea 

We are human and sometimes we struggle regarding whether we have been given a good idea or divine revelation. 
We can give no formula but here are some guidelines as you’ test’ the vision

  • Divine revelation will never conflict with Scripture
  • Ask if it pleases God or man
  • Share idea with respected leaders asking for their insight. [Exodus 4:18]
  • You are prepared to pay the cost - there will be one
  • Be patient like Nehemiah [Nehemiah Chapter 1]

If it is from God, the seed of the vision will grow. Eventually you will have a sense that this is God’s destiny for you, your organization, and your church.



The vision for this online training course was birthed in seed form in 2012. 
    I shared it with others in 2013. 
            It took a year from then to complete the project

‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will  counsel you and watch over you’ [Psalm 32:8]

‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.’  [Proverbs 3:5-6]


  Your Vision Statement      


It is helpful to summarize the vision of your church or organization in a short and memorable statement.  This is called a Vision Statement. A Vision Statement is a statement providing a broad aspirational image of the future in the light of revelation from God. The Vision Statement expresses the destination of the church or organization within a certain time-frame.



Do you have dreams for your church or organization? Have you spent prayerful time imagining that what you yearn for could really take place? If not, take some time to do this soon, and keep a written note of the thoughts that come to mind. 

After further thought and prayer and discussion you can begin to write your Vision Statement. 





Below are some examples of short vision statements for churches – in each case aspiring to be something that the church is not yet.

  • 'to become an inter-generational church’
  • 'we will seek to planting 5 churches into the community by 2020’
  • 'we desire an increased prayerfulness in our church, both individually and corporately’
  • 'To be a resource to other churches in this region, resourcing, equipping and encouraging them’
  • 'To see everyone actively involved in one aspect of mission’


Below are extracts from a longer vision statement as given in the first sermon by Pastor Rick Warren in 1980 at Saddleback Church in the USA

  It is the dream of a place where the hurting, the depressed the frustrated, and the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope forgiveness, guidance, and encouragement.

  It is the dream of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the hundreds of thousands of residents in south Orange County .

  It is the dream of welcoming 20,000 members into the fellowship of our church family-loving, learning, laughing, and living in harmony together.

  It is the dream of developing people to spiritual maturity through Bible studies, small groups, seminars, retreats, and a Bible school for our members.

  It is the dream of equipping every believer for a significant ministry by helping them discover the gifts and talents God gave them.

  It is the dream of empowering every member for a personal life of mission in the world.

  I stand before you today and state in confident assurance that these dreams will become reality. Why? Because they are inspired by God.



And finally
We have shared that Mission Statements do not change from generation to generation.

However, Vision can and does change from time to time.
For example...
       The original vision may have been largely achieved,
       so a new vision for the future is required.   

       A new pastor may have been appointed,
       and has a different vision for the church



Values are principles and behaviours that guide the conduct of our organization/church. Sometimes they are called the ethos of the church. 
They do not define our purpose or state the dreams for the future but state the way we seek to act day by day.
They will include our attitudes to one another and may include our Basis of Faith.



Mission Possible UK is an NGO working with partners in Africa and Eastern Europe and funded by supporters in the UK. We seek to achieve our purpose and fulfil our vision within these guiding principles

  • focusing our ministry on the poor and marginalised
  • being people of integrity with servant hearts  and seeking overseas partners with similar characteristics
  • being inclusive and demonstrating that all people are loved and created by God
  • respecting our partners by listening to them and learning from them
  • being professional in all we do whilst remaining dependent on the grace of God
  • being genuinely thankful for each donation irrespective of value and being good stewards of these resources
  • giving God the glory for the spiritual impact that results from our ministry 

Alongside these principles, the Board and Executive Team of Mission Possible UK subscribe to the Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith.



One of my favourite Christian authors says he is pastor of the ‘smallest growing church in America’. 
He then goes on to say that his church is for ‘people who do not like church’

There is much teaching about thinking big when it comes to vision.  Actually, it is not about thinking!
It is about discerning the direction that God has called you to go in.  This many involve growth but it also maybe about doing or becoming something beautiful for God. 

Are big and beautiful always the same?


Some Quotes      

 ‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.’   Martin Luther King (Leader of African-American civil rights movement in the 1960’s)

'When you have vision it affects your attitude. Your attitude is optimistic rather than pessimistic.' Charles Swindoll (preacher and author)

‘A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both’.  Dwight Eisenhower

‘The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes’  Marcel Proust (French Novalist) 


Biblical Models and References                   
  •  Acts 2:38 – 47
  • Nehemiah 1
  • Habakkuk 2:3
  • Luke 4:18-19
  • Zechariah 4:10
  • Exodus 4:18
  • Luke 14:8



  • Jesus came to earth with a purpose.
    What are they as listed in Luke 4:18-19?  
    What impact do these words have on our ministry?

  • See Nehemiah chapter 1. 
    How did he receive his vision for his future work?  
    What was the first thing he did after he got this vision?

  • The New Testament is full of 'one another' statements regarding our attitudes to others.  
    For example ‘Be at peace with one another’ [Mark 9:50] and ‘encourage one another’ [1 Thessalonians 5:11].  
    List all the one another statements that you can find in the Bible. 
    How should these commands impact on the values that your church/organisation?  
    Are there area in which you can improve and if so how?


You can now move onto Module 4:

                Strategy, Planning and Communication