Businesses, churches, and organizations of all kinds want you to know the reasons why they exist, and what they are committed to doing. We call these declarations, “Mission Statements.”
These short paragraphs attempt to distill a pure essence describing the key purposes and functions of an organization. In creating such a statement, one would want to avoid inclusion of “buzz words” that can sound disingenuous. Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip, Dilbert, has made a stock-in-trade of lampooning that kind of “corporate speak.”
There is actually a “Mission Statement Generator” online that hilariously exploits such cliché jargon.
After randomly choosing from a list of phrases including Opener + Adverb + Verb + Adjective + Noun + Conjunctive + Closer, we were able to produce this little gem:
“It is our mission to holisticly leverage existing functionalized paradigms in order that we may continue to exceed customer expectations.”
Inspiring, isn’t it?
In all seriousness, it will likely not surprise you to learn that we too have a Mission Statement. Ours states that we are involved in…
“Educating and equipping servant leaders through Christian discipleship and expeditionary learning to impact the Dominican Republic”
Our website unpacks the words and phrases we used in our Mission Statement. We define what is meant by “Educating and Equipping.” We define a “Servant Leader” and “Christian Discipleship.” Finally, we explain what is meant when we say that we intend “to impact the Dominican Republic.”
“Impact” is a useful word. However, the dictionary’s first definition is: “to come into forcible contact with another object.” Uh,… no. We like the second definition: “to have a strong effect on someone or something.” Specifically, our website explains that our intended impact is to “empower students to become the future revolutionary leaders of the Dominican Republic.”
Another way of putting it is that we want to see the Dominican Republic changed from the inside out. We don’t seek change for it’s own sake. We seek a specific kind of change—a specific kind of revolutionary. In a word, we are seeking redemptive transformation.
The story throughout all the Bible is one of Redemption. Paradise lost. Paradise regained. Redeemed. The well-known story of “The Prodigal Son” depicts a tragic waste of a life and a fortune, only to be redeemed in the end by a generous and forgiving father. Hebrew Law made provision for a dead man’s estate to be bought by a relative, redeeming his name and his household. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, came to redeem fallen humanity, purchasing her at the expense of his own blood, to restore what was lost—to redeem it. The Servant Leaders we would see raised up through Doulos Discovery School can only be revolutionary insofar as they themselves have been revolutionized by Jesus! They cannot hope to effect redemptive change in their country without themselves being redemptively changed!
The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country, rich in resources, and full of still greater potential. The impediments to realizing her promise lie not in outward threats but in matters of her heart. The political, social, and spiritual forces that waste, corrupt, exploit, marginalize, and oppress, spring from individual hearts in need of a redemptive work. The restorative work of God makes a person courageously love, bless, invest, build, benefit, share, and include. Such revolutionaries in positions of influence will effect redemptive changes. This kind of change is only wrought by God through the transformative work of His own power. This kind of change has a real impact—a Redemptive Impact.