It's been asked, "If you don't know where you're going, how will you know when you get there?" The mission and vision of the church seeks to answer that for us.
A mission statement seeks to answer "What You Do." It's a statement describing the reason we exist and is used to help guide decisions about priorities, actions, and responsibilities.
The mission of Swan Lake Evangelical Free Church, based upon Jesus' final commission to his disciples in Matthew 28 is to make disciples by “Loving God passionately by helping people find and follow Jesus Christ!.”
A vision statement seeks to look at the "Desired End-State." It's a statement describing the clear and inspirational long-term desired change resulting from our labors. It really tries to answer the monumental question, "What's the desired result that's possible only if God shows up?"
The vision statement should also bridge our unique mission and our unique contextual needs. The unique contextual needs of Cottonwood, Marshall, and the surrounding areas of Southwest Minnesota include being Hardworking, Polite, Family Oriented, and Self-Sufficient.
Each of those unique strengths also has a shadow-side, that left to ourselves, can morph into a weakness. Being Hardworking can shift to being Overcommitted and Busyness. Being Polite, within the context of “Minnesota Nice” can shift to being Inauthentic, breeding Shallow Relationships. The value of being Family-Oriented, again, left to itself, can turn inward to being Comfortable and Shut off to others. Finally, being Self-Sufficient can tend toward the feelings of Superiority, Independence, and even Self-Righteousness. Each of our values answers these tendencies.