Following our church’s annual leadership conference, we have been developing life mission statements. Our church went through the “Purpose Driven Life” on last year and now we’re delving farther into purpose and God’s plan to use us. I once loved doing this type of work in the corporate world; I even taught classes about the value of it. If there is one facet of working that I miss, it would have to be the amount of time in my day to brainstorm, to reflect, and to plan. I’ve found that since I’ve come home, I have quickly fallen into what Stephen Covey, in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, describes as the “urgent and important” quadrant. My day is filled with putting out fires and answering the questions at the other end of “Mom!” and “Honey!” All of the “important, but not urgent” activities suffer as a result of my fire fighting. This includes Bible study, my own education (formal and informal), my writing, exercise—the list goes on. As much as I hate to confess it, I even dismissed the Bible study schedule that the church passed out because I initially thought, “I’ll never keep up with this!” Thank God that, even though I’m already a day behind, I did put Satan’s lie behind me and get started.
So, we began Bible study this year with a review of Jesus’ mission, and the eventual plan of, through a series of steps, understanding and writing our own purpose or mission statement. This is where I started, with 5 positive characteristics about me and an action step to use them:
1) I am smart (more of a confession to come against my own fears of inadequacy). I will use my gifts in faith, teaching, leadership, and administration to offer suggestions in the ministries in which I serve, and continue to teach more.
2) I smile (almost) all the time. I can use my encouraging nature to minister to hurting people by listening to and praying with them more, and by sharing my own testimony.
3) I am humble. I will cheer for others and be happy to work in the background as someone God can use without seeking personal glory.
4) I am a nurturer. Not only will I continue to minister to husband and children at home where ministry starts, but I will give hugs and comfort to my church family.
5) I enjoy stretching myself and growing personally. This year, I’ll set stretch goals.
I skipped a step or two in getting to my mission statement, but I caught on to Pastor’s idea that this statement should energize me. When you tell someone what you’re about, it ought to stir something that’s deep down inside, and it doesn’t have to be eloquent or lengthy, nor does it have to mean anything to anyone but you. So, in a nutshell, what is my purpose? I teach. I learn. I encourage. I inspire. As simplistic as it sounds, this is how I define myself as a family member, as a friend, as a professional, as an individual, and as a child of God.
teach: to give instruction; to give knowledge or lessons in; to show by example or experience
learn: to get knowledge of or skill in through study and instruction; to find out
encourage: to give courage, hope, or confidence to; to help bring about or foster
inspire: to fill with great emotion; to move to action