Vision & Mission: Designing the Future

I wrote a recent post on the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement.  I am adding to that by sharing some insightful words from the President of an organization (Aglow International) that is in the midst of rebranding. It is so crystal clear, I say, “Bravo, Jane Hansen!” IN a letter to her leaders, she writes,
“In the past, we have referred to the statement that guides us as a mission statement.  We began to look at the meaning of the words “vision” and “mission.”  Perhaps the easiest way to explain the use of vision over mission today is to add “ary” to each word and look at their definitions.

A visionary is someone who is casting vision for the future – the big picture.  A missionary is one who carries out the work of that vision.

A good vision statement is inspiring.  It is a statement that is both bold and broad.  It is a statement that encompasses everything we do and leaves expansion for our future.  Vision is not about direction.  It is about the height a movement wishes to achieve.

Our Mission statement is “in house” and explains how we intend to do the things our vision statement says.  An effective mission statement is specific and descriptive of the actual work to be undertaken by a movement.  It should answer the questions, “Why do we exist?” and “What do we do?””

Take note that most organizations that are moving, changing and growing are continually re-examining and often re-defining their vision and mission. When is the last time you looked at yours?

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2 Comments on “Vision & Mission: Designing the Future”


  1. Thanks Beverly, I love this article and it really helped bring clarity and VISION to my life and a desire to be on a MISSION that becomes a movement! I want to be all that I can be for the Kingdom of God and help win, disciple and mentor as many as I can for His Glory! You are awesome – thanks for all you do for the Kingdom!


  2. Funny – we just went through this exercise at work, including a refresher on these definitions. I came up with the same as you describe here. It’s funny how confusing these can end up being after they’ve been tossed around for so long as organizational buzzwords! You’ve done a great job of providing clarity to each.


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