Mission Statements…missing the point?

I have never really reconciled my problem with mission statements of Institutions. There are good ones, there are bad ones. I think that we may be more in love with a mission statement as a form of security and direction than we are actually embodying the statement. All in all, they are a necessary evil. But are they necessary? Does a mission statement perhaps limit an institution?

Here are some examples of mission statements with my commentary after it:

Southern Seminary:
Under the lordship of Jesus Christ, the mission of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is to be totally committed to the Bible as the Word of God, to the Great Commission as our mandate, and to be a servant of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by training, educating, and preparing ministers of the gospel for more faithful service.

Commentary: Okay, this is alright, but I feel as though Southern is more interested in stating their belief in the Bible than they are following Jesus. I recently read a book, “you recently defend something you love. Rather, you invite them to join along with you in what you love.” It’s seems as though Jesus is a stepping stone rather than the focus. As well, it would seem that Southen has little emphasis on education. Now, I know this isn’t the case and that Southern is probably the most academic of all seminaries, but just because something is stated in a mission statement doesn’t mean that its really stated, but only hinted at as a means “covering all your basics.” This just seems poorly outdated. Anyone agree?

Southwest Baptist University:
Southest Baptst University is a Christ-centered, caring academic community preparing students to be servant leader in a global society.

Commentary: SBU’s is great. Seriously, they have Christ in his proper place (the center), they emphasize the tone of SBU with “caring.” They care about relevancy with “globalism” as a center. Academic has a better tone than “educate.” SBU should be proud!

Princeton Theological Seminary:
Princeton Theological Seminary prepares men and women to serve Jesus Christ in ministries marked by faith, integrity, scholarship, competence, compassion, and joy, equipping them for leadership worldwide in congregations and the larger church, in classrooms and the academy, and in the public arena.

In my opinion, this is solid. A lenghty mission statement doesn’t necessarily mean a good one. SBU’s has been the greatest so far and the shortest.

That’s all for now. Southern’s is downright bad, Princeton’s is solid, and SBU’s is great!


2 Responses to “Mission Statements…missing the point?”

  1. 1 Anonymous October 12, 2006 at 9:30 pm

    How about LABC’s mission statement:

    People changed by Jesus Christ to share His life with others

    Short, sweet, and hard to beat.


  2. 2 matt creathhttp://www.xanga.com/matthewcreath October 13, 2006 at 9:30 pm

    SBU’s is great, but I feel it is actually the least fleshed out of all three.

    wow. that’s saying alot considering Princeton is in that category.

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