Friday, 15 April 2011

Dedicated to decline

I am not sure why I still find myself scanning the job adverts in the church press each Friday, despite the fact that I am about to take up a new appointment. I suspect it is in part force of habit, however, I do find it interesting to see what posts are being advertised and how the adverts are worded. One thing that does stand out is the little strap lines that different dioceses use to describe themselves in their advertisements. The Diocese of Wakefield was for a long time ‘The Missionary Diocese of Wakefield’, though I note the word ‘transformation’ seems to have replaced mission on their website header. At the moment it is the Diocese of Lichfield that draws the eye with it’s ‘Going for Growth’ statement.

I can’t help feeling that some of these diocesan mission statements are hostages to the future. What happens when Lichfield drops the ‘Going for Growth’ header? Are we to assume they have reached their growth target or given up trying? I had rather naively assumed that all dioceses were committed to growth. A good test of the value of a mission statement is to consider whether it is really just a statement of the obvious and to imagine what the alternatives might be. Put it another way, would any diocese declare that they were ‘Moving into Maintenance’ or ‘Dedicated to Decline’?

1 comment:

Revsimmy said...

Good questions, Phil. Just who are these statements meant to be for? I put a few of my thoughts on this on my own blog.