Being Mission Centric Has Practical Value

One way to improve student outcomes is to make your school more mission centric.  This applies to all of the segments of your business model and is especially important for governance, leadership, strategy, culture, community impact, programing, finance, and fundraising.  When everything is mission centric, it is easier to fulfill the promises of the mission statement, which results in better student outcomes. When everything is mission centric, everything feeds the mission and nothing distracts from the mission.

Being mission centric starts with hiring staff members and board members who understand what it means to be mission centric.  The staff must be passionate about the mission and they must understand what the promise of the mission statement means, how to fulfill it, and why it is valuable to your students and community.  Like the staff, board members must be passionate about the mission.  They must also understand how their discussions and decisions affect the staff’s perception of the mission, its value, and why it is important.  The board’s discussions and decisions also affect the donors’ perceptions of the mission and its value to the students and community.

You want donors who are passionate about your mission.  Without a passion for the mission, donors can hesitate to support mission centric initiatives. When a significant donor hesitates, there is a temptation to win the donor’s support rather than keep the mission at the core.  When you cater to a donor’s desires, the student outcomes suffer and sustainability declines. Rarely is the donor’s impact on outcomes or sustainability immediately noticeable.  However, the financial impact quickly becomes apparent though it is hard to remember the decision that precipitated the change in support.

Finance is another area that can have a significant impact on a mission.  It is tempting to let the bottom line or the perceived difficulty of achieving the financial goals drive the mission.  Again, the adverse effect on outcomes and sustainability are rarely noticed immediately.  In the long-run, it is better to do what is right for the mission and trust the passion of the donors to support the mission they care about.

Your students’ and parents’ passion for your mission are also an important factor.  A passionate student is more engaged and will have a better outcome.  Passionate parents are more engaged and supportive of your efforts.

You may be tempted to serve everyone who asks.  However, communities measures the value of a Christian school based upon the number of students who have the desired outcomes.  When only 2 in every 100 students achieve the desired outcomes, the community perceives the school as having very little value for the effort expended.  When success is achieved by 98 out of 100 students, the community believes the school has significant value and the 2 are outliers.  A high level of success has a significant impact on sustainability and a school’s reputation.

Next Step:

Ensure the promise of your mission statement is something the majority of your students can achieve and your community values

Create a clear and simple definition of mission centric

Engage only people who will be mission centric

Ensure everyone involved with your Christian school is passionate about your mission

Desired outcomes occur after students leave your program.  Today’s sustainability was created by the decisions and actions in the past.  You can significantly change the future by ensuring everything that happens today is mission centric.

You came to work today because you care about the mission.  Make sure everything that happens today shows how important the mission is.

Take It Further:

Applaud whenever someone chooses the mission over the pragmatic or easy

Check with your community semi-annually to ensure the value your community finds in your mission is growing


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