Using Your Mission Statement

Generally, when the topic of mission statements come up, the focus is on how to write them.  Articles and workshops are everywhere answering that question.  There’s even an earlier article on this website addressing particulars of that.  But a more significant question, and the one campsites should be asking is:

What do we do with our mission statement once it’s done?

After spending hours and hours writing it, including several meetings and likely more than one conflict, we better have a pretty good idea of what our mission statements are going to be used for.  But often we don’t.  We plan to slap the statement on a bunch of advertising, maybe create a sign for the camp entrance, and then we let it be.

The smarter among us take a different approach.

The smarter leaders wait to work on the mission statement until they are ready for that statement to become the fabric of the campsite.  They wait until the camp is at a point where the mission statement will be a key part of each day and each decision.  Smart leaders still use the statement on advertising, but they also use the language of the statement in conversations and when making decisions.  They carefully choose each word in a way that will make it easy to slip into sermons, conversations, printed resources, blog posts, and basically anywhere else.  And because they were cautious in their word choice, people don’t really know the mission statement is everywhere.  They simply feel that they know what the campsite is about. They feel the campsite understands its mission and strives toward it in everything.

The biggest factor in learning to use your mission statement comes down to whether you believe in it and whether it really speaks to the heart of your organization.  If the statement is an honest representation of your purpose and work, then using it should come easily.  Don’t be afraid to make the language of your mission statement part of your own personal repertoire.  Take out pieces to use in staff meetings and volunteer settings. This will encourage the mission statement to become natural for the rest of the staff as well.  The more the language of the statement is used naturally around your campsite and in your conversations, the more power that statement will have in your organization.

More on mission statements:

How to: Write your Mission Statement

Telling Your Story | sharing your mission

How to Talk About your Campsite

Clarifying your camp’s Purpose

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