Universal Studios will never do a marketing campaign that says, “We don’t have a Mouse.” Coke will never say, “We don’t make sports drinks.” An attorney won’t run a commercial that says, “We do it all but the accounting.”
Why do so many 501(c)3 organizations define themselves as non-profits? Or, worse, why do churches define themselves as who they are not like?
Mission isn’t about what you are NOT. It is about what you ARE. If you define yourself by what you aren’t, someone else will come in and do what you do better, and you will lose your mission to others. Define yourself by what you are, by what problem in the world you want to fix. How do you make a difference in the world?
I’m doing a strategic plan with the ELCA Youth Ministry Network as I am volunteering on a leadership team. We are having lots of fun and envisioning a transformed church because of the work we do. We are spending little time on defining what we aren’t. Our ministry vision is about what we are and how we make the world a better place because of our vision.
To have an effective congregational strategic vision or an effective strategic plan for your organization, work from what you are good at. What you do. Not what or who you aren’t. That doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that you don’t make a profit. It matters that you make a difference.