In the military, the definition for mission is “an operation that is assigned by a higher headquarters.” There is no mincing of words in this definition. A higher authority has provided a task to accomplish, now go accomplish it. As followers of Jesus Christ, this should resonate with us. We have been given a mission from a higher authority, and our lives should be committed to that mission. For us, however, it is not an option—it is a command. Matthew 22:36-40 (also known as the Great Commandment) says this:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Why Mission Matters
Why is our mission so important? In my opinion, this is a question that everyone and every organization should answer regularly. Your mission is your why. If you don’t know why your mission is important or don’t believe in your mission, you will drift away from your original purpose. At LCCS, our mission is central to who we are as a school and a reflection of the mission God gives all believers. Our leadership team uses it as a filter for decision making. If it doesn’t help us meet mission, we don’t do it.
Without faithful care and vigilance towards our mission, there is a very real potential that “mission drift” could happen. In his book Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches, Peter Greer provides a stunning example of what can happen when we lose sight of our why/mission:
Pastor Training School Consider this mission statement of a well-known university: “To be plainly instructed and consider well that the main end of your life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ.” Founded in 1636, this university employed exclusively Christian professors, emphasized character formation in its students above all else, and rooted all its policies and practices in a Christian worldview. This school served as a bastion of academic excellence and Christian distinction. This mission statement, however, is not from Dallas Theological Seminary. Neither is it from Wheaton College. It’s from Harvard University—this statement described their founding mission. Harvard began as a school to equip ministers to share the Good News.
The potential to step away from our very purpose can happen if we are not fully invested in caring and building upon our mission. Harvard, once a place to expand the Kingdom of God, is now one of the more progressive and anti-Christian universities in the country. At LCCS, we are committed to our mission and the outcomes for our students which are rooted in its truth.
How Our Mission Aligns with Scripture
Lancaster County Christian School exists to glorify God as a community of faith and learning dedicated to forming disciples of Jesus Christ, pursuing goodness, truth, and beauty, cultivating wisdom and virtue, and furthering the highest ideals and practices of human flourishing.
This mission is who we are, it’s how we as a school are trying to live out the Great Commandment found in Matthew 22. If you have been involved with LCCS over the past several years, you have heard me say that our mission statement breaks into two clear segments. First, Lancaster County Christian School exists to glorify God as a community of faith and learning dedicated to forming disciples of Jesus Christ. This is our why and what we are trying to accomplish in partnership with our parents. Second, pursuing goodness, truth, and beauty, cultivating wisdom and virtue, and furthering the highest ideals and practices of human flourishing. These are the results we will see and link to our student outcomes, which we will discuss in a later post.
As we look at the first half of this mission, three main characteristics about who we strive to be as a school should stand out.
1. We exist to glorify God
2. We are a community.
3. We are dedicated to forming disciples.
We Exist to Glorify God
I Corinthians 10:3 says: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Scripture is clear that we exist to glorify God. While short, this is a robust statement connected to our call in Matthew 22 to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” As image bearers of our Creator (Gen. 1:27), it is our purpose to bring Him glory in all that we do. Recently I was reminded that everything in creation moves towards God and His glory, either for judgment or mercy. As followers of Jesus Christ, we wait in anticipate for the time when we will be reunited with God in eternity—a hope that rests in His mercy for us.
We are A Community of Faith and Learning
One of the most comforting truths that we see in scripture is the call to live in community together. As a school, we seek to be both a community of faith and learning. Teachers, parents, students, and administrators are on this journey together in community. We can look again at our 2021-2022 theme verse, John 17:22-23, to see that after pursuing oneness with Christ on a personal level, we are called to do it together in community “…so that they may be brought to complete unity (v.23).” Why is this community concept important? So that through our unity as a community of believers, the world will see Jesus!
We are Dedicated to Forming Disciples of Jesus Christ
Lastly, we see in our mission that we are dedicated to forming disciples of Jesus Christ. What an amazing purpose and privilege in the process of partnership with LCCS parents. This is why Christian education is so important. We have an opportunity every day to immerse your students in a biblical worldview and to share with them how to respond to sin and the pressures of the world they face on a daily basis through the lens of scripture. We see a clear call to this in Matthew 28:19-20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” What I find to be so beautiful about this commissioning is that Jesus promises to be with us as we endeavor to form disciples for Him.
I love the mission that God has placed on LCCS. It is our heartbeat and what drives us as we move forward. If we remain focused on its truths founded in scripture, I know that we will bring glory to God as a school community. I’m so thankful to be on this mission with you, and I can’t wait to see all that God does at LCCS as we remain laser-focused on our mission.