In the 1990’s Chick-fil-A adopted the advertising slogan, “Eat Mor Chikin.” Chick-fil-A does not do hamburgers, fish, ribs, or pizza. They do chicken! Focusing on this one thing has helped Chick-fil-A to become the most successful chicken franchiser today, having begun more than 80 years ago. “Eat Mor Chikin” has been Chick-fil-A’s message, but not its mission. Chick-fil-A’s mission statement reads, “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
The Church has one mission and one message! It is clearly and succinctly stated by Jesus in Luke 19:10 which says, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” When the church focuses on its mission and message, the church moves in the direction of success in the kingdom of God.
Our mission and message are clear. I learned Luke 19:10 as a child. It was a memory verse in Vacation Bible School and at Summer Camp. These powerful words were clear and concise enough so that even a child, like I was, could grasp their meaning.
Our mission and message are challenging. Theologian William Temple said, “The Church is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members.” Sometimes we forget that. It’s easy for the church to become only inwardly focused. At times churches can become like clubs focusing primarily on the needs and desires of their members. It’s hard to reach out—to love the unlovable; to forgive the unforgivable; and to befriend the strangers, but that is exactly what God calls us to do.
Our mission and message are unique. Though the church may dabble in many areas we must remember our mission is unique and our main focus is not to do what can be handled by others:
- We may be politically active, but that can be handled by activists.
- We may provide scholarships, but that can be handled by educational foundations.
- We may have chicken dinners, but they can be served by restaurants.
- We may do concerts, but they can be provided by entertainers.
Instead our one mission and message focus us on the task that uniquely belongs to us—as extensions of Jesus Christ—seeking and saving the lost.
Our mission and message requires outward energy. Seeking and saving mean we have to take initiative. It is not enough to have a nice building with nice events and hope people stop by. We must do all we can to reach neighbors, co-workers, family, and strangers with the message of the gospel.
Our mission and message are urgent. The reason Luke 19:10 uses the word “save” is because our task is urgent. The eternal state of people around us hangs in the balance. Without a relationship with Jesus Christ we are not just good people with a difference of opinion. Without a relationship with Jesus Christ we, the Bible say, are not just “non-Christians.” It says we are lost; we will spend eternity in hell, and we are in need of God’s saving grace.
Our mission and message are simple. Maybe that’s what makes it so difficult. Our task is simply to trust God by faith. It’s as simple as ABC!
- Romans 10:13 lets us know salvation is AVAILABLE to everyone. “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
- Acts 16:31 tells us to BELIEVE. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
- 1 John 1:9 encourages us to CONFESS. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If you are not saved, pray now, trusting God by faith, and He will come into your life and save you. If you are already saved, please share our mission and message with someone God puts in your path today!
Mark Croston is General Editor for the YOU curriculum and National Director for Black Church Ministries at Lifeway Christian Resources.