Count Syllables not Words

Part of making something memorable is making it short. This is especially true when it comes to the “bulleted version” of your mission statement. I use to think you had to limit the number of concepts. But as I looked at and interacted ours (I didn’t write it) I got to thinking there was something more.

Loving God
Loving People
Sharing the Gospel (and)
Serving the Word

As I was breaking it down, here’s what I discovered…

4 concepts
11 words
16 syllables

No wonder it feels like a mouthful!

Here’s one I heard recently that is much simpler. 


3 concepts
3 words
5 syllables

While it’s much easier to say (the 3 R’s give it a nice ring), as a mission statement, it has some “interpretation” challenges. For example, we don’t rescue….the Lord does. Our job is to be a faithful witness. So “Rescue” really means be a witness. Raise really means to disciple someone (like you raise a child to maturity. And lastly, it’s not our job to release someone for service. While may need to exhort someone to “love and good works“, we can’t release someone to do something that’s a command for every believer.

This next one is one of my favorite examples.
Not only is it simple to understand, but it’s also directional as to what behaviors we’re looking for someone to do (pray for someone, look for ways to show genuine acts of caring kindness, then be prepared to share with them the hope we have in Jesus.)


3 concepts
3 words
3 syllables

While it’s a bit weak as being inspirational as a mission statement ie “Make Champions for Christ” its great for easily sharing strategy and methodology.

All this to say, the best mission is the one that’s used. And the more that its easier to communicate and remember, the more likely it’s going to get used.

PS. While we’re on the subject, mission statements are by far one of the easiest things to poke fun at. Here are a few comics that do just that.

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