Vision and mission statements

by Edward L. Lee, Jr.

In my 58 years of ordained ministry, 28 of them as bishop, I have crafted and read many vision and mission statements by parishes, church organizations, and dioceses. They all try to articulate the calling, purpose, and goals of their particular ecclesiastical and ministry enterprise. Collectively they are often a mixed bag of good intentions and wishful thinking, of real and unrealistic plans, of imaginative risk-taking or safe tasks for maintenance and survival. Some have passed my test of being Gospel-based and missional in scope, while many have soft-landed into a bland and predictable Sunday business-as-usual comfort zone.

Recently I came upon a parish’s vision/mission statement that caught my missional attention and ministry imagination. I pass it on for your consideration. What do you think? How does it strike you, or not? Full disclosure: it does pass my test of being Gospel-based and missional in scope. Read on:


Welcome all seekers;

Worship God in liturgy, music and prayer;

Equip all baptized persons for ministry; and

Engage as agents of Christ’s love in the world.



Learning leads to God;

In giving and receiving care we encounter Christ;

Life in the Holy Spirit is beautiful.



Community engagement and social justice;

Unconditional welcome and inclusion;

A community that calls forth the gifts of its entire people;

Becoming a racism-free and diverse community

that reflects the city where we worship.

Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Philadelphia, PA

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