I wrote this about 3 years ago… if you know me, please comment on how I am doing in living this out. (NOTE: I did make some edits to bring current some thoughts)
358,000,000 (up from 89,100,000 when I wrote this originally). That is the number of results included in the Google search “Life Mission Statement.” There are 4 “suggested” searches when you type these words into the search bar as well: 1) life mission statement examples, 2) how to make a life mission statement, 3) life mission statement generator, and 4) life vision statement. I reference this because it directly ties to the objectives of this exercise and also serves as a reflection of society’s desire to have a purpose in their lives, as evidenced by the sheer number of results, as well as a reflection of those parts of society who are looking for the “easy” way out of things.
Life mission statements are value based. Without a core set of beliefs and values to help guide and drive the writing of your personal life mission statement, you are prone to searching things like “life mission statement generator.” In selecting one of these generators (www.joe-ks.com), the premise is for the “normal Joe” who wants control over his destiny. The site defines Mission Statement based on the grammar structure alone and puts no real heart into it. (Mission Statement = Opener + Adverb + Verb + Adjective + Noun + Conjunctive + Closer) Following this formula may get you a passing grade in a class, but it is certainly no way to develop the basis of your being and purpose in life.
In attending Preston Trail Community Church over the past 10
8years, I have learned the importance of being involved in a mission, vision and strategy. They have guided me to understand what it means to have the mission of Jesus become the mission of my life. The following are excerpts from the belief statements of Preston Trail:
- We believe that Life makes sense only in the light of a God who is personal, relational and full of love. (1 John 4:16)
- We believe that God made the world and everything in it to mirror and reflect his character. (Genesis 1:1; John 1:13)
- We believe that God made humans to live in this world in peace and joy, sharing in his love with one another. (Genesis 1:26-28)
- We believe that God so wanted us to find the road to wholeness and life that he sent his beloved son, Jesus, to show us the way. (John 1:14-18; 3:16-17)
- We believe that Jesus is still in the world today through his Spirit, calling all people everywhere to join him right now in serving God and others. (John 14:15-18; Acts 1:6-8)
When it came time to write my personal Life Mission Statement a few years
weeksago, it was somewhat of a difficult task at first blush. I followed the guides provided, gave thought to the questions and how they applied to me and my life and my desires for my life. As I spent time pondering the questions and listing the character traits that I wanted to be reflected in my life, it became clearer and clearer where my role model was and who I needed to emulate to achieve the desired outcome.
On Sunday, October 11th 2015, I was leading a table group for our “Next Step” class at Preston Trail where we help people learn about the mission, vision and strategy of the church as well as help them figure out what their next right step is in their faith journey. It hit me sitting there as to why so much of this was so familiar! In hearing again the mission, vision and strategy of the church that has been a part of my life for so long, the connection was made and it solidified my mission statement in my mind right then and there.
A vision is simply describing what our preferred future looks like. The mission helps you to focus on that preferred future and your strategy helps to execute on that mission.
My Life Mission Statement…
To demonstrate a well-balanced life by applying Christ centered principles as I strive to be a lamp and a reflection of His light to all people I come in contact with.
Let’s break this down:
- Well balanced in body, mind and spirit. So many people are focused on 1 or 2 of these areas, but very few are actually balanced in all three. In order to be your most effective, you need all three.
- Christ centered principles. Simply a way to state that I want to follow His example in everything that I do in life.
- A lamp. I want to shine His light onto those who are trapped in the darkness of this world
- A reflection. When I do, I want them to see His reflection in me and my actions
- For all people I come in contact with is pretty self-explanatory…
Leading self is a different skill set than leading others. They are different; however they are linked in that the disciplines associated with each are deeply embedded.
For some, it is much easier to lead themselves. Being disciplined to get up early, workout, eat right, study the Bible, and generally be a good person.
When leading others, you must not only lead self, but you have to express the organizations mission, values and strategy when it comes to expected behaviors and disciplines.
Being able to align your personal mission with the organizational mission is an opportunity to be successful in both. I believe the biggest aspect of either leadership scenario is the ability to have accountability and speak the truth in love.
In leading self, it is easy to justify actions and ultimately lie to oneself as to whether that choice is justifiable or not.
In leading others, you are holding them to a standard defined by the organization; you are able to hold them accountable.
For a weak leader, who is unable to provide feedback that is actionable and “course correcting” to the individual while showing support and encouragement, will struggle with engagement and results.
The truth shall set you free in both scenarios and allow you to progress towards your vision… your preferred future.
The Life Mission Statement is just that. It is for your life. It is one thing to “serve” your organization and follow the mission of your work or your church. It is something else to have a mission that guides your actions, behaviors and interactions with your family, friends and community.
Having that in your mind, in your heart and in the core of who you are, allows you to influence in a desired and preferred manner. Your kids see you living by a “missional” drive and it can influence their choices and help define their preferred future. As Dave Ramsey likes to say in Financial Peace University, “change the family tree.” A personal life mission statement can do just that.
To summarize, having a set of core values for yourself, preferably based on Jesus example set for us, and aligning your life around a formulation of those values can create a direction for your life that is not only missional in the sense of purpose for your life, but missional in the sense of doing the mission of Jesus here on earth; helping others to see that having Jesus in your heart and the center of your life is the way to true happiness here on earth and will only extend into the afterlife. We don’t have to wait to enjoy Jesus Christ!