What is the difference between a mission statement and a vision statement?
TopNonprofits.com distinguishes them this way:
Mission Statement (What You Do): A one-sentence statement describing the reason an organization or program exists and used to help guide decisions about priorities, actions, and responsibilities.
Vision Statement (Desired End-State): A one-sentence statement describing the clear and inspirational long-term desired change resulting from an organization or program’s work.
For this list, we’ll look at 30+ church vision statements collected from churches notable for their size, influence, or communications ability. Details on how this list was compiled can be found by scrolling down to the bottom of the page.
For examples of mission statements, check out 50 examples here.
- The best vision statements are inspirational, clear, memorable, and concise.
- Church vision statements are often much too long to remember.
- The average length of the church vision statements here (even if you exclude the longest 3) is a full 23.8 words compared to only 14.6 on Top Nonprofit’s Example Vision Statements
- The shortest contains only 4 words (Westover Hills)
- The longest mission statement from the this list contains 279 words (Hillsong)
- A number of churches base their vision (and/or mission) statements around the great commission, but see the difference between Christ Fellowship’s (6 words) and Celebration Church’s 50 word versions.
- Many churches intentionally or unintentionally blended elements of mission statements (what they do) into their visions.
30+ Church Vision Statements
Westover Hills (San Antonio, TX): Making New, Making Great. (4 words)
Christ Fellowship (Miami, FL): To make disciples of all nations. (6 words)
The Journey (St Louis, MO): Growing Disciples. Starting Churches. (4 words)
HighPoint Church (Memphis, TN): To be a place where LOVE WORKS. (7)
FairHaven (Centerville, OH): To reach the greater Dayton community and expand the Kingdom of God. (12)
Christ Church of the Valley (Peoria, AZ): Impacting 100,000 Phoenix area residents by the year 2020. (9)
The Rock (San Diego, CA): To be a global and highly trusted model of relevant and innovative evangelism. (13)
Gateway Scottsdale (Scottsdale, AZ): To see people saved, healed, set free, discipled, equipped, empowered and serving. (12)
East 91st Street Christian Center (Indianapolis, IN): To become an equipping and mobilizing church that transforms our world for Jesus Christ. (14)
The Potter’s House (Dallas, TX): We are the voice and the hand that encourages people to change their lives with hope, comfort and peace. (19)
NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC): To continue growing, impacting lives and using technology and the arts to reach 100,000 people for Jesus Christ. (18)
Willow Creek (South Barrington, IL): We believe all people matter to God and that Christ’s message and ministry through the local church is the hope of the world. (23)
Perimeter Church (Johns Creek, GA): To make and deploy mature and equipped followers of Christ for the sake of Family, Community and Global transformation. (19)
Glide (San Francisco, CA): To create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. (21)
Coral Ridge Prespyterian Church (Ft Lauderdale, FL): To rescue and replenish a world lost and broken by sin, thereby “making all things new” (Revelation 21:5). (19)
Kensington Community Church (Troy, MI): To turn people who think God is irrelevant into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ through high-impact churches. (19)
Missio Dei Church (Cincinnati, OH): To see the people of Cincinnati forever changed by the Gospel of Jesus and holding dear to Him as their source of all joy and worth. (26)
White Horse Church (Sydney, Australia): To plant the gospel in key Australian, population dense, urban centres and from that seed to grow churches that engage the city, with, for, because, about, Jesus. (27)
Brainerd Baptist (Chattanooga, TN): To see God through Christ deliver individuals from the bondage of sin, disciple them into faithful followers of Christ, and deploy them as leaders to the nations for the glory of God. (22)
Church of Christ the King (Brighton, England): To be a Christ-centred Church in an influential City, which multiplies and helps other Churches towards these shared goals, across the region, Western Europe and beyond. (27)
Austin Stone Community Church (Austin, TX): To build a great city, renewed and redeemed by a gospel movement, by being a church for the city of Austin that labors to advance the gospel throughout the nations. (30)
Gateway Church (Southlake, TX): To bring people to Jesus and membership in his family, develop them to Christlike maturity, and equip them for their ministry in the church and life mission in the world, in order to magnify God’s name.”(36)
Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York, NY): To build a great city for all people through a gospel movement that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, to the world. (33)
City on a Hill (Melbourne, Australia): We not only want City on a Hill to be famous for being all about Jesus, we want the person and work of Jesus to be famous in our city. This fame begins in our own lives, and extends into our homes, workplaces, universities and city. (46)
Phoenix First (Phoenix, AZ): To be the church that displays the love of Christ and connects with people of all walks of life through our creative services, discipleship, outreach, and the establishment of multiple campuses by streaming our Weekend Experience services globally. (38)
Celebration Church (Jacksonville, FL): “Therefore go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you, always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-20 NIV (50)
Glad Tidings (Omaha, NE): For saints and seekers. For individuals and families. For those more or less fortunate. For young and old. For re, yellow, black, and white. For blue collars, white collars, and no collars. For Omaha locals and foreign refugees. At Glad Tidings, the good news is for all people. (48)
Biltmore Baptist (Arden, NC): “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20 (62)
Mars Hill (Grandville, MI): As a community, we’re devoted to building an engaged, passionate, spiritually healthy community of people that makes up Mars Hill. We’re also devoted to engaging and impacting one another and others, believing that Jesus himself set an example of service and that we’ve been given the responsibility to follow it. (50)
Planetshakers (Melbourne, Australia): To bring Christ to their world because… “the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor, He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow to them a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for morning, and a garment of praise instead of the spirit of despair. They will be called mighty oaks, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” – Isaiah 61:1-3 (127)
Saddleback (Lake Forest, CA): “It is the dream of a place where the hurting, the depressed, the frustrated, and the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness, guidance, and encouragement.
It is the dream of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the hundreds of thousands of residents in south Orange County.
It is the dream of welcoming 20,000 members into the fellowship of our church family-loving, learning, laughing, and living in harmony together.
It is the dream of developing people to spiritual maturity through Bible studies, small groups, seminars, retreats, and a Bible school for our members.
It is the dream of equipping every believer for a significant ministry by helping them discover the gifts and talents God gave them.
It is the dream of sending out hundreds of career missionaries and church workers all around the world, and empowering every member for a personal life mission in the world. It is the dream of sending our members by the thousands on short-term mission projects to every continent. It is the dream of starting at least one new daughter church every year.
It is the dream of at least fifty acres of land, on which will be built a regional church for south Orange County-with beautiful, yet simple, facilities including a worship center seating thousands, a counseling and prayer center, classrooms for Bible studies and training lay ministers, and a recreation area. All of this will be designed to minister to the local person-spiritually, emotionally physically, and socially-and set in a peaceful, inspiring garden landscape.” (254)
Hillsong (Sydney, Australia): “The Church that I see is a Church of influence. A Church so large in size that the city and nation cannot ignore it. A Church growing so quickly that buildings struggle to contain the increase.
I see a Church whose heartfelt praise and worship touches Heaven and changes earth; worship which influences the praises of people throughout the earth, exalting Christ with powerful songs of faith and hope.
I see a Church whose altars are constantly filled with repentant sinners responding to Christ’s call to salvation.
Yes, the Church that I see is so dependent on the Holy Spirit that nothing will stop it nor stand against it; a Church whose people are unified, praying and full of God’s Spirit.
The Church that I see has a message so clear that lives are changed forever and potential is fulfilled through the power of His Word; a message beamed to the peoples of the earth through their television screens.
I see a Church so compassionate that people are drawn from impossible situations into a loving and friendly circle of hope, where answers are found and acceptance is given.
I see a people so Kingdom-minded that they will count whatever the cost and pay whatever the price to see revival sweep this land.
The Church that I see is a Church so committed to raising, training and empowering a leadership generation to reap the end-time harvest that all its ministries are consumed with this goal.
I see a Church whose head is Jesus, whose help is the Holy Spirit and whose focus is the Great Commission.
YES, THE CHURCH THAT I SEE COULD WELL BE OUR CHURCH – HILLSONG CHURCH.” (279)
HOW THE LIST WAS COMPILED
- Visions statements were gathered from organizations found on 3 of our other lists; 2013 Top Ranked Churches in America, Top 20 Largest Gigachurches in America, and 40 Great Church Websites of 2013.
- 30 were then selected for this list based on length and organized roughly from shortest to longest (based on number of characters).
- The number in parenthesis at the end of each line depicts the number of non-branded words included in their vision statement.
- In order to standardize the list, we removed things like “[Brand's] vision is” or “The vision statement of [Brand]” when it created redundancy.
www.churchrelevance.com. Used by permission.