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Church ministry can feel like a revolving door. Does it ever end…really? Do we ever get to say, 'Mission accomplished'?

Part of the problem is that local church mission isn’t always clearly defined. Members may be performing many amazing ministry feats, but that doesn’t mean they understand the goal or when it’s been met.

Here’s a simple, time-tested acronym that may help provide some “mission control”:

  •   Mission
  •   Objectives
  •    Strategies
  •    Tactics

A waterfall, which is quietly powered from the top and mushrooms at its base, is a helpful image to keep in mind when working through this acronym. Though stated in simplest terms, mission is the power that drives an expanding list of objectives, strategies, and tactics. 

Here’s an example of how this would work for a neighborhood church that wants to pursue the mission of feeding the hungry in their community.

Mission: Feed our church’s hungry neighbors.


  • To share the love of Christ in deed as well as word.
  • To reduce the number of hungry families in our community.
  • To establish redemptive relationship for the sake of the gospel.


  • Open a church food pantry.
  • Offer a free hot meal to the community once a month.


  • Collect donations of dry food goods.
  • Clean out storage room and build shelves to stock with food donations.
  • Find volunteers to run food pantry and to prepare and serve monthly hot meals.
  • Advertise food pantry hours and monthly hot meal times.

The clarity of purpose and task in this mission is unmistakable. When hungry neighbors are being fed, church members will know that they’re fulfilling the mission they began together.

Clearly defining mission and working it down to its tactics helps churches break free from the revolving door of ministry. Instead, they are set up to share in the satisfaction that comes from saying, “Mission accomplished!”

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