I first ran across Mission Statement’s while in the Navy. They were trying to adapt Dr. Deming’s Total Quality Management (TQM) into their own program called Total Quality Leadership (TQL). I wasn’t much impressed by the idea of mission and vision statements since I figured they were just another element in bureaucratic paperwork and were just another exercise in time wasted. There hasn’t been anything since then to change my mind.
So when I started seeing these in parishes it seemed to me they didn’t have much vision or knew their mission other than promulgating buzzwords and being inclusive/welcoming/vibrant/caring.
My exacts thoughts were that if you had a Mission Statement and it didn’t directly quote the Gospel imperative or another passage from the Gospel You’re doing it wrong (if you’re going to do it in the first place).
So today I found myself nodding-my-head in total agreement as I read this post by Diane Harris on Cleansing Fire. She provides examples of these statements from her diocese and they are representative of what I have seen. It is not that they are really awful or without any merit. Just that they look like statements from a committee without the urgency of the Gospels.
Now if you were going to have a personal Mission Statement what would it be?
“Be a saint! What else is there?”