Which Comes First, Church Mission or Strategy?

Man making a good presentation to a group

To see some excellent examples of how you don’t have to be an efficiency expert to suddenly start getting more done in less time, watch this event from Faithlife.

In around 30 minutes, find out how you can save steps with your church presentations, website, online giving records, and more. Plus, there’ll be a Logos 9 package giveaway!

It’s all so you can focus on what matters most—ministry—because mission comes first, not strategy.

A Live Faithilfe Event. Tech Built Just for the Church. Register Free.

Dr. Justin Irvin explains why that’s so vital in the course Communication and Organizational Leadership:

Right off the bat, I would emphasize that effective strategies are focused on serving the organization’s mission. Before anything else, we need to ask the question, not what are our strategies, but what is our mission? Once we have a clear picture of our mission, strategies can come alongside after that statement of mission in a way where we’re asking the question: how are we going to actually carry out the mission we’ve been given? So effective strategies serve the organization’s mission.

Collins and Porras put it this way. They articulate strategy as a servant to a mission in this manner: “Strategy is subservient to mission and strategic analysis should be done after, not during, the mission-setting process.” If you think with me for a moment, what could potentially go wrong if we flip the order of these? If we said we are going to focus on strategy before mission, what are some of the challenges that could be associated with that approach in an organization? Often in that type of model, a focus on strategy would lend itself to either what do we like doing in our community, or what do we feel we’re good at in our community? Namely, strategic questions are focusing on the “how” (the way we implement things), rather than focusing on the “what” (what are we going to be doing).

In this model, it’s a challenge because our preferences may not be focused on the broad mission that we need to be moving toward as an organization. But rather, if we take on this advice from Collins and Porras and recognize that strategy is subservient to mission and that the strategic analysis of how we approach things should come along after (not during) the mission-setting process, then we can recognize this sequential order. The importance of having a clear mission and then going about the reflection on how can we create plans that will serve this mission? This is the priority of saying effective strategies serve the organization’s mission, not the other way around.

Come hear how Faithlife’s features can help you carry out your church’s mission and follow through on your strategy. Watch it now.

A Live Faithilfe Event. Tech Built Just for the Church. Register Free.

Written by
Faithlife Staff

Faithlife (makers of Logos Bible Software) is the largest developer of Bible study software and a worldwide leader in multilingual electronic publishing. Faithlife partners with more than 500 publishers to make more than 120,000 Bible study resources available to customers around the world. More recently, Faithlife has launched the world's first integrated ministry platform, a full suite of ministry, communication, and management tools for churches.

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Written by Faithlife Staff