3 Characteristics of an Effective Purpose Statement





Rick Warren
Rick Warren

Saddleback’s purpose statement has been quietly guiding much of our decision-making for nearly three decades. Our purpose statement is:

To bring people to Jesus and membership in his family, develop them to Christlike maturity, and equip them for their ministry in the church and their life mission in the world in order to magnify God’s name.

That statement captures the five purposes God has given the church. Though the five purposes are the same for every church, each church must decide how to articulate those purposes in a way that shapes the culture of the church, but there are at least three characteristics of an effective purpose statement:

1. It is stated in terms of results instead of activities. The church shouldn’t be defined or driven merely by activities or functions. Instead, we’re to be driven by our intended product—changed lives! We are in the business of developing disciples, so we state our purpose in terms that can be measured for effectiveness.

2. It is stated in a way that encourages participation. It’s something everyone can be involved in. Within those five purposes, and among the many different ministries that flow out of them, there is room for people with every shape to find a ministry and to take ownership of the mission.

3. It is arranged into a sequential process. You can see the natural progression as you read through the statement. Our entire process for disciple-making is formed around that progression. We want to bring people into membership, then build them up to maturity, then train them for ministry, and then send them out on their life mission in the world.

I’m a collector of purpose statements and I love to learn from other churches. How does your church articulate your purpose? Share it in the comments below.

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

For the original article, visit pastors.com.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
Read the Vacation Bible School 2014 guide

Subscribe to Ministry Today

Ministry Today Digital

More from Ministry Today

http://ministrytodaymag.com/modules/mod_image_show_gk4/cache/banners.300x250MNT_Version2newsimage1.jpglink
http://ministrytodaymag.com/modules/mod_image_show_gk4/cache/banners.300x250MNT_Version3newsimage1.jpglink
http://ministrytodaymag.com/modules/mod_image_show_gk4/cache/banners.300 x 250 NICL Locations 3-18-14newsimage1.jpglink
http://ministrytodaymag.com/modules/mod_image_show_gk4/cache/banners.NICL Test 300x250newsimage1.jpglink
«
»
a