Saturday, June 03, 2006

Mission Statements or Mantras?

Guy Kawasaki, famed for his "evangelistic" work for Apple's Macintosh computer, writes in his book "Art of the Start" (actually I read this in a PDF condensed version at ChangeThis!) that instead of writing complex mission statements that are usually dusty, forgotten and full of complicated jargon, companies (and I would submit, churches as well) should "make mantra" instead.

He includes a chart of several well-known companies, listing both their official mission statements and his "hypothetical mantra" version. Here are a couple I thought were especially poignant:

  • Red Cross -- "Stop suffering."
  • Southwest Airlines -- "Better than driving."
  • Coca-Cola -- "Refresh the world."

    How many times have you seen a church mission statement that was the equivalent of a high school English essay exam answer, when it could have easily been stated in a simpler, easy-to-remember format that gets to the gist of it all?

    Kawasaki advises making them "short and sweet." The idea is to give your congregation a takeaway vision of what you are leading your church to embody in your community.

    Send your statements -- ah, rather "mantras" -- to me, I'd love to check them out!

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