Maybe you're tired of hearing about mission statements and core values.
I've been there too.
Many churches spend a great deal of time identifying, refining, explaining, and promoting core values only to have them drift into the background as the organization moves on to more-pressing matters.
This has happened at Intown in the past.
And, some of us have a been part of a business or a church that has maybe talked too-incessantly about it's mission statement while the customers and congregants grow frustrated with the organization aspiring to rather grandiose goals while not effectively fulfilling its core functions.
I don't know if we've ever talked "incessantly" about our mission statement at Intown, but we've certainly experienced times where our rhetoric exceeds our core competencies.
I would like to see Intown continue to grow more and more effective in fulfilling the core essentials of a healthy church, things like: spiritual formation, assimilation, pastoral care, gospel-centered preaching, etc. while at the same time continuing to pursue a mission that is particularly-necessary in Portland and which we feel uniquely-gifted to pursue.
We do in fact have a mission statement, which doesn't simply reside on our website, sadly-forgotten, but one that does help to determine our everyday choices as a church.
We revisited this mission statement in a series of sermons last summer and fall as we prepared to make a denominational move. In these sermons we tried to argue that in making a move to the RCA we were trying to stay true to and being guided by our mission statement.
In other words, our denomination transition wasn't arbitrary or guided by convenience but we determined that we were in an ecclesial context where we were unable to fully embody our mission statement and we made a decision together to honor our local ministry commitments above denominational loyalty and continuity.
This was a circumstance in which having a mission statement, clearly-defined and substantially-understood by congregation enabled us to make a difficult but very consequential decision.
So, over the next few days I plan on posting a short summary of each of the significant words in our mission statement, that we are, "A community seeking to embody the historic Christian gospel in the city of Portland."
This will be particularly important for the leaders as we continue to chart out our calling in these new denominational circumstances, but it should also be helpful for visitors as they seek to learn more about "what makes us tick", as well as for the member/attendee seeking to live our our common mission in their everyday life.
So, check back regularly...