Before I start with part 2 let me answer a question that was posed to me off part 1. What is the diference btween a vison statement, mission statement and a postioning statement? Here's my answer. I guess my definations of the three statements are:
Vision statement is what you organisation strives to be;
Mission statement is how you will achieve it;
Positioning statement is how people see you in the marketplace.
For example with 96five:
Vision statement: To be Brisbane's prefered radio staion for families;
Mission statement: Building stronger families, connecting people to Jesus Christ, supporting the Christian community, through excellence in radio broacdcasting;
Positioning statement: Families No. 1
We don't use our vision statement as our branding statement. Our mission statement is an internal organisation message. Our vision statement says that we want to have your family listening to us. Those that already listen to us know that. People who aren't listeners don't know that. Our positioning statement is the brand slogan that helps us achieve our vision statement. Our mission statement then lets our staff now the framework for all programimng decisions.
So in a church context vision statement defines the church's position in the community, the mission statement tells the leadership and congregation how it will be achieved and the positioning statement is short punchy and tells a non member about your church distictive.
Does that help. Your church vision statement should never change - it is timeless. Mission statement may not change either but can be fine tuned to reflect the strengths of the church and the positioning tsatement should rarely change as it always takes a while for the community to actually 'get it'.
Now for Part 2.
Communicating your Distinctives
Just as important as developing your distinctives is to clearly communicate them to your audience. Often a church lets itself down by not clearly articulating what they are doing. Churches have always been guilty of using words that are not readily known by unchurched people. Churches will talk about their contemporary music. There is actually no such music genre at contemporary. Try going to iTunes or a retail music store and asking for the latest contemporary music album. They just don’t exist.
Other use phrases like we are a bible believing church. Well aren’t we all – it is a given not a positioning statement.
Sometimes we will talk about a world famous speaker coming to speak this weekend. I ask the question in whose world are they famous in. Nelson Mandela is world famous but Bill Hybels or even Julia Gillard isn’t world famous, just known in their areas of life.
Also never confuse style with relevance. When communicating you need to communicate from a position of substance not from a position of style. People aren’t looking for something stylish but for something that actually meets their own needs.
Make sure you can actually deliver your distinctives or promises. Make sure you are actually friendly and engaging. If you call your self a family church do you cater for single parent families? What about singles?
Embrace other churches.
Other denominations are not the enemy or opposition. We are actually on the same team. Notice in your community how all the fast food shops seem to be in one spot. That is because they know that works in a financial sense. So if a church opens up in your area don’t panic. It is actually a good thing. Also there are plenty of unsaved people to share around. The more churches the better. Again embrace your distinctive not the other churchs distinctives and you will be fine. After all didn’t God call you to be there?