Vision, Mission, Beliefs, Values, and Strategy...

These are terms churches use a lot. So here's a quick guide to help us make distinctions and bring clarity.

  • Mission is do.

  • Vision is see.

  • Beliefs are guides.

  • Values are goals.

  • Strategy is how.

RLC's mission is to help people find and follow Jesus. It's what we do.

Our vision is to be a church that unchurched people find irresistible. That's what we see.

Our church has core beliefs on: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Bible, Church, and Humanity. See the details on each here: Beliefs.

Our church's values: Biblical, Missional, Real, Generous, and Multiplying. See the details on each here: Values.

Those make up our church's DNA. But strategy is way more fluid. Strategy is open-handed where mission, vision, beliefs, and values change less rapidly... even when we find new ways to express them.

Real Life Church is our "house." YX is a room in the house. We're not reinventing, we are figuring out how we apply the mission and vision for our room.

YX's mission re-expressed for our room is to help students find and follow Jesus.


YX vision statement: To see youth experience real life in Christ.

Our vision is to be a student ministry where unchurched students love coming. Or another mission statement: Create community where students belong from the beginning. Lead by influence where students believe in Jesus and become more like Him.

One thing I wanted to point out is bringing vision back to simply what we wanted to see. Take "us" out of the equation, what are we asking God to do? We want to see students know him in a real way. So our see leads us to our do: create community and lead by influence.

Create community is a commitment to connect students to a bigger body of Christ. To help their church become their circle. If I'm committed to creating community for others, I gotta host a party every now and then. I gotta clean the house and invite the guests. I gotta entertain them, I gotta come up with something fun that night to do. Creating community is not a passive hope, it's an active servant's role. It's remembering a name, following a new student on social media, and doing your part to help them belong from the beginning.


Leading by influence isn't repetitive or a non-sequitur. How we lead is by influence. This means it's gotta be real, authentic, and they follow our example because they want to. Think of an influence artist. When asked who influenced them, artists will name off influentials groups and soloists that came before them that they listened to, loved, respected, and on some level shaped and influenced their own sound. We influence students. We know relationships are a major factor in this influence, but so is our own lives.

Strategy statements we're using right now to help us clarify how we see and do:  

To leaders only: J High is where we want to see Jesus become personal. High School is where we want Him to become purposeful.

To leaders only: Move them one step at a time.

We help youth experience real life in Christ.

Real life in Christ. Real relationships with others. Real purpose together.

To leaders only: Assume the unchurched are in the room.

How do we better tell students who we are and what we do? Other student ministries use phrases like "Best night of the week." "We are family." "Bring your crew."

I don't have the full answer here, but I feel like a theme forming for me for 2018-19 as I write and plan for next year is "Jesus changes everything."