Four Considerations When Developing a Purpose-Driven Vision Statement

In a previous blog entitled “Working Smarter Not Harder:  Smart Goals and Accountability,” I discussed the process of goal-setting in churches.  Today, I will discuss how to develop a church’s vision statement by which all goals should be measured.
Vision Statement
A church’s vision statement is an explicit and objective call to action allowing stakeholders to identify, measure, and assess their primary focus.  It implicitly reinforces every church’s mission as outlined by the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20.
SMART Vision Statement

A SMART vision statement reflects five characteristics that promote church unity and accountability:  succinct, memorable, actionable, relatable, and truthful.

  • A vision statement is succinct:  it should be short (4-7 words) and contain an intentional phrase that’s highly refined.


  • A vision statement is memorable:  it should contain simple but captivating language that can easily be recited by all demographics within the church and local community. 
  • A vision statement is actionable:  it should motivate and move members toward spiritual maturity and discipleship measured by quantitative and qualitative data.


  • A vision statement is relatable:  it should include language clearly understood by believers and non-believers and should reflect the church’s core values.


  • A vision statement is truthful:  it should depict an accurate reflection of the Bible’s view on both the local and universal church while also reflecting the present and future reality of the local church. 


Minimum Viable Involvement (MVI) 1

A SMART vision statement is created, in part, based on frank conversations and extensive brainstorming among church stakeholders regarding the Minimum Viable Involvement (MVI) that describes characteristics of each church member.

Think of MVI as a profile that describes the essentials of what a church member “looks like” and “sounds like.”  This is not unique to a church. School’s often develop MVIs for establishing membership criteria and expectations for clubs, parent groups, and sports teams.  Businesses refer to MVIs when determining employee profiles and job descriptions.

Generally, a church’s MVI includes five areas of involvement:  attendance, ministry, giving, discipleship, and evangelism.  
MVI Sentences

After church stakeholders brainstorm what’s meant by and the attributes of the MVI’s areas of involvement, they should craft a concise sentence for each area.

Core Values

Core values are the essential elements of a SMART vision statement and consist of a synthesis of each MVI sentence.  They are the lens through which a church’s ministries and activities should be viewed and assessed.

1 Thom Rainer’s “How to Develop a Church Vision Statement.”  Digital.

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