Mission Drift | A Reminder For Pastors


Recently the Holy Spirit highlighted the challenge of Mission Drift in local churches. Mission Drift is when we lose sight of the cause that drives us; the why behind the what. This can be common but deadly. So, the question is, “When is the last time you reminded your team and congregation about the mission of The Church?”

Before you begin reciting your local churches mission statement, I’m not referring to that, I’m referring to the primary mission statement that Jesus gave us.

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.” —Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)

When is the last time we’ve directly reminded our congregations and teams about the great commission? Our local church mission statements won’t motivate if people don’t understand their direct link to THE mission statement Jesus gave us in Matthew 28.

Great churches are birthed out of a call from God placed on a pastor to reach and pastor a community, but what is birthed in passion to reach the lost can often drift to passive maintenance. Here are a few indicators that you and your church could be experiencing Mission Drift.

Signs You May Have Mission Drift

  • Loss of passion and motivation in yourself, the staff, or congregation
  • Team/staff is weary and fatigued
  • Fewer people are getting saved
  • Staff is focused on amenities
  • Extra irritation by inconveniences
  • Offense, drama, and tensions are at an alltime high
  • Excessive exit of quality people
  • Focus on maintaining rather than advancing
  • Hoping new people will come in rather than going out to reach them
  • Team focuses on what’s easiest rather than whats most effective

Getting Back On Mission

Whether you feel your church is fully on mission or more distracted, fatigued, and off course, the good news is that we can get back on mission. In the book of Revelations, Jesus is speaking to a passionless church and calls them to repent and do the things they did at first. Here are a few things you can do to get on mission.

  • Reconnect With Jesus
    If our connection to Jesus has drifted so will our attention to the mission. Stir up again your passion for time in His presence and time in His word.
  • Recommit To The Mission
    As time goes on in building church, we can allow so many things to distract and fill up our church calendar that it can cloud out the main things. Reevaluate your annual and monthly calendar to be sure it’s on mission.
  • Reevaluate Your Mission Statement
    If your mission statement doesn’t reflect a heart to reach and disciple than you may need to change it. Here at C3 Church San Diego, we articulate it like this: “A church that is fresh, real, powerful, and has at its heart the great commission to win souls and make disciples of all nations.”

    Weak and passive mission statements won’t reach a city.

  • Reinforce The Great Commission
    Take time in your staff meetings, team huddles, and weekend services to pray for the salvation of your city. Create consistent time to passionately call people to pray for and reach their city with the good news of the gospel. If you don’t focus on the Great Commission than neither will they.

Pastors, I love and respect the immensity of your call. To be entrusted with a city and it’s people is pretty unbelievable. Let me remind you that you’re not alone, Jesus is for you, and the Holy Spirit is with you! I’m praying right along with you that His Kingdom would come and His will be done in and through your church!

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