Bad Church Mission Statements
Bad Church Mission Statements

Church mission statements play a crucial role in guiding the direction and purpose of a congregation. They are meant to be the guiding light, steering the community towards a shared vision of serving God, Jesus Christ, and the people around them.

However, not all mission statements are created equal. Some fall short, lacking clarity, inspiration, or true purpose. In this blog post, we will explore the common factors that make a church mission statement “bad” and provide ten real-life examples to illustrate these pitfalls.

Our aim is to encourage churches to craft meaningful, impactful, and purposeful mission statements that truly reflect their calling and values.

Factors That Can Make a Church Mission Statement “Bad”

Before delving into specific examples, let’s understand the factors that can render a church mission statement ineffective and uninspiring:

1. Generic and Vague Language

One of the most prevalent issues with bad church mission statements is the use of generic and vague language. A mission statement should communicate the unique identity and purpose of the church, but when it relies on generic terms, it fails to differentiate itself from others.

Words like “best,” “great,” and “excellent” lack specificity and make it challenging for people to grasp the true intention behind the statement. Instead, churches should opt for concrete language that clearly outlines their goals and mission.

Remember that the more your Church’s mission statement aligns with the personal Christian mission statement or the spiritual mission statement of an individual the more likely you are to attract them to your Church.

2. Self-Serving and Self-Promotional

A mission statement should not be centered around the church’s self-promotion or growth but should prioritize serving others and glorifying God.

When a mission statement focuses solely on increasing the size of the congregation without emphasizing the community’s welfare, it can create an impression of an inward-looking and self-serving church. Instead, the mission statement should reflect the church’s commitment to loving and caring for the people around them.

3. Lackluster and Unoriginal

Using lackluster and unoriginal language in a mission statement can make it sound uninspiring and devoid of meaning. Clichéd phrases and generic expressions can make the statement appear stale and generic.

An impactful mission statement should be crafted with creativity and authenticity, evoking passion and enthusiasm within the congregation and beyond.

4. Ambiguous and Unclear

Ambiguity in a mission statement can lead to confusion and lack of direction among the congregation. If the statement is open to various interpretations, it becomes difficult to rally the community around a shared vision.

An effective mission statement should clearly articulate the church’s purpose and objectives in a way that leaves no room for ambiguity.

5. Unfocused and Ineffective

A mission statement that lacks focus can be a significant hindrance to the church’s growth and impact. When a statement tries to address too many things at once, it dilutes its effectiveness and fails to communicate a clear sense of purpose. A strong mission statement should be concise and precise, concentrating on the core values and calling of the church.

Examples of Bad Church Mission Statements

Let’s explore ten real-life examples of bad church mission statements and identify the issues that make them fall short:

#1. “To be the best church in our community and grow our congregation.”

This mission statement suffers from several critical issues. First, it uses generic terms like “best” and “grow” without providing any specific criteria or measures for achieving this goal.

The lack of specificity makes it challenging for people to understand what the church aims to achieve. Additionally, the statement focuses solely on growing the congregation, with no mention of how that growth will benefit the community or serve God and others.

#2. “To spread the message of Christ to all nations and serve God through worship and community service.”

While the intention of spreading the message of Christ and serving God is commendable, this mission statement is too broad and lacks clarity. It does not specify how the church plans to spread the message or the types of community service activities they engage in. Without clear direction, the statement may not effectively guide the congregation’s actions.

#3. “To be a welcoming church where everyone feels loved and accepted.”

This mission statement seems promising at first glance, emphasizing inclusivity and acceptance. However, it falls short in providing the necessary depth and specificity.

What actions will the church take to ensure everyone feels loved and accepted? How will they create an environment of genuine care and compassion? Without concrete details, this statement remains vague and lacks impact.

#4. “To gather people to worship God, connect with one another, and grow in faith.”

At first glance, this mission statement may seem appropriate, emphasizing worship, connection, and spiritual growth. However, it still suffers from vagueness and lacks clear direction.

What does “connecting” entail, and how will the church facilitate it? Without specific guidance, the congregation may struggle to understand and fulfill the mission.

#5. “To be a Christ-centered community committed to making a difference.”

While being Christ-centered is a fundamental aspect of any church, this mission statement remains ambiguous in defining the difference they seek to make.

What specific actions will the church take to make a difference? How will they engage with the community and address its needs? Without answers to these questions, the mission statement loses its impact and sense of purpose.

#6. “To be a beacon of hope and love in the city.”

This mission statement is poetic and evokes emotions but lacks substance. What tangible actions will the church take to be a “beacon of hope and love”? How will they engage with the city and its residents to bring about positive change? Without concrete plans, this statement may seem idealistic and unachievable.

#7. “To impact lives through the power of the Gospel.”

While the power of the Gospel is transformative, this mission statement lacks specificity in describing how the church will impact lives. Will they focus on education, social programs, or outreach initiatives? Without concrete details, the statement does not effectively communicate the church’s goals and strategies.

#8. “To be a vibrant and dynamic church that reaches out to the lost.”

The emphasis on vibrancy and outreach is positive, but the mission statement remains vague. Who are “the lost,” and how will the church reach out to them? What specific efforts will they undertake to bring about positive change? Without clear direction, this statement lacks the impact needed to motivate the congregation.

#9. “To empower believers to achieve their God-given potential.”

Empowerment is crucial in any faith community, but this mission statement lacks specificity in defining how the church will achieve this goal. What programs or initiatives will they offer to help believers reach their potential? Without clear guidance, this statement may seem idealistic and unattainable.

#10. “To glorify God in everything we do and be a shining example to others.”

While glorifying God is central to any church’s mission, this statement lacks a clear sense of direction and purpose. How will the church be a “shining example,” and in what areas? Without specific objectives and measures, this statement may feel vague and impractical.

How to Avoid Making Bad Church Mission Statements

Now that we have seen some examples of bad church mission statements, let’s explore practical steps to craft meaningful and impactful mission statements that resonate with the congregation and community:

1. Be Specific and Concrete

To avoid falling into the trap of generic language, church leaders should focus on using clear, specific terms in their mission statements. Instead of vague expressions like “best” or “great,” opt for concrete language that outlines measurable goals and objectives.

Specificity helps create a compelling vision that resonates with the congregation and communicates the church’s unique identity.

2. Put Others First

Church mission statements should prioritize serving God and others rather than promoting the church itself. Leaders should craft statements that reflect the church’s commitment to loving and caring for the people around them.

Emphasize the church’s dedication to outreach, community service, and meeting the needs of the community. By putting others first, the mission statement becomes a powerful expression of the church’s Christ-centered values.

3. Be Unique and Inspiring

To avoid the pitfall of a lackluster and unoriginal mission statement, church leaders should use language that ignites passion and inspires action. Avoid using clichés and generic phrases, and instead, craft a statement with creativity and authenticity.

Share the church’s unique vision, calling, and approach to fulfilling its mission. An inspiring mission statement will not only motivate the congregation but also attract others to be part of the church community.

4. Provide Clarity and Direction

To eliminate ambiguity and confusion, a well-crafted mission statement should provide clear direction for the church’s activities and objectives. Define the church’s purpose and values in a way that leaves no room for interpretation.

By articulating a clear sense of direction, the mission statement becomes a roadmap that guides the congregation’s actions and decision-making.

5. Keep It Focused

To avoid an unfocused and ineffective mission statement, church leaders should concentrate on the core values and calling of the church. Avoid trying to address every aspect of the church’s activities in the mission statement, as this can dilute its impact.

Focus on the primary objectives that define the church’s identity and purpose, ensuring that the mission statement remains concise, impactful, and memorable.

Here are some examples of Church mission statements that follow this guidance.


Crafting a compelling church mission statement is essential for guiding the congregation towards a shared vision and purpose. By avoiding generic, self-serving, and lackluster language, and instead embracing clarity, inspiration, and focus, churches can develop mission statements that truly reflect their calling and values.

A meaningful mission statement should serve as a guiding light, illuminating the path towards a Christ-centered community dedicated to serving God and others with love and purpose.