Most parish mission statements read like executive summaries of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church.” Sentence after sentence, sometimes paragraph after paragraph articulate the mission, values and vision of a community that is trying not to leave anything out.
As someone who has been on and even led committees and groups that have developed mission statements, I know how much work can go into them, how much wordsmithing is involved and the great sense of relief when it is completed. The exercise has real value and helps those involved appreciate the organization in a new light.
The mission statement is promulgated, published, and put on the parish bulletin and other documents and then usually forgotten until the parish gets a website. Then someone says “Put the mission statement on the Home Page.” Most (but not all) parishes have opted not to do that. I think that is a wise decision that the rest should imitate.
We know that we have 4-10 seconds to engage website visitors. The formal mission statement of most parishes usually is not going to grab their attention. The length or the vocabulary may even turn them away. If you want to include the mission statement on the website—my preference is to put it on an inside page, but not on the Home Page.
However, I do recommend using a tag line on the Home Page that captures in a few words or phrases the spirit, essence or priorities of the parish community. I have found a few examples:
1. The tagline for Mary Queen of Peace is Closer to God, Closer to One Another. It is a phrase from their mission statement which appears on the bottom of their Home Page. I like it.
2. The Cathedral of St. Joseph has a brief mission statement in its header, but also uses the words: Faith-Family-Fellowship from their logo. I think the three words would be enough.
3. The Church of St. John and Blessed Sacrament has two worship sites. Their tagline is is One Community, Serving God. That fits.
4. I am not sure if this is an actual tagline or something that is changed periodically, but I think what St. Edward Parish has is very nice.
Does your parish, religious community, or organization include the mission statement on the Home Page, use a tag line or neither?
Do have a preference or an opinion? Let us hear from you.