Dr. Thomas Lane Butts: Mission Accomplished?

It has become fashionable for businesses - and churches - to write mission statements. A mission statement is a brief summary of the meaning and purpose of the organization for which it is written. It is a guide for the leadership of an organization as to how they will relate to their customers, stockholders, employees, parishioners and to one another.


It is a good idea. When everyone in an organization pledges themselves to a statement of purpose, it saves the organization from getting away from its central purpose. Good idea!


A few years ago a minister friend came across a mission statement from a well-known major national corporation. I was so impressed with the statement that I decided to share it with you. Here it is.

RESPECT - We do not tolerate abusive or disrespectful treatment. Ruthlessness, callousness, and arrogance don’t belong here.

INTEGRITY - We will work with customers and prospects openly, honestly, and sincerely.

COMMUNICATION - We have an obligation to communicate.

EXCELLENCE - We are satisfied with nothing less than the very best in everything we do.

I like those values. Would you not like to do business with a company, or attend a church, which includes those values in their mission statement? Sounds like it would be a great place to work. But what happens to our trust level when those values are just words?


The values listed above are in the mission statement of the Enron Corporation. I doubt that any of you need to be briefed concerning the Enron Corporation. At one congressional hearing, a legislator spoke of Enron as the "Betty Crocker of Cooked Books".


Does your church or your business have a mission statement? Do you have a mission statement for your life? The world does not really care how pretty your statement sounds. The world only wants to know if you accomplish the mission of your statement.


Any organization (or anyone) who has a mission statement should have some point on a continuum where some objective test is administered to see if the mission is being accomplished.