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Do you know the mission statement of your congregation?

Do you have a personal mission statement?

Is there something in your life that is so important that you can’t not do it?

Missions – we all have some sort of mission.  Whether it’s simple or complex, instant or long term, big or small – we all have a mission in our lives.  I think it speaks to my mind set that I learned more about what it means to be “missional” from my time in the Army than I have by any conference, book, class, or encouragement from the Church.

I want to highlight three distinct differences between an understanding of mission and what the local parish may be able to learn from the military.

The first is – in the Army there is an urgency to the mission.  I never received a mission (Operations Order) in the Army that wasn’t urgent –  now, being the Army many of the missions involved hurrying up just to wait – but there was an urgency to the mission and an understanding at how essential the mission was to the overall operation.  I wonder if too often in the church we expect a lack of mission urgency.  It’s interesting to read in the Gospel of Mark how often we see urgent language. ” Immediately, soon, now” are used often.

The second is – in the Army there wasn’t a doubt about whether or not the mission would be successfully completed.  Even though not all missions were successful the understanding from higher headquarters were that we would be successful.  That understanding and encouragement were emphasized as orders were handed down.  You WILL take the objective at this location.  Upon securing the objective the battalion WILL provide defensive operations while providing support to Tango Battalion as it moves on your left flank.  When was the last time the church was CHALLENGED with mission.

The third is METL – To complete a mission every soldier needed to understand their METL – MISSION ESSENTIAL TASK LIST.  Ever soldier from Private to Colonel knew the resources they would need to complete the mission – every soldier knew where they could obtain the resources they would need – from water to ammunition to fire support.  Everyone knew their METL

Do you have a mission?

Does your congregation have a mission?

Do you know your METL?


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