I blame my sore shoulders on Wess Stafford’s inspiring book, Just a Minute. It was an honor to have Wess on the Men in the Arena Podcast to hear his heart for children. I’ve interviewed hundreds of great men. Men who have founded denominations, built global ministries, and sold millions of books, but Wess stands above them all. As the president of Compassion International, Wess grew to the organization to a 500-million-dollar annual budget, 84% going directly to children, with over 2 million sponsored children globally.
In 2012 we launched this ministry out of a coffee shop in my hometown of McMinnville, Oregon. As things open, we will be giving back to the town we love in the Arena Gathering, which was growing rapidly last year but we were compelled to shut it down due to COVID. Pray for wisdom, leaders, and a location as we launch what we believe will be the largest weekly gathering for men in the history of our county.
Before I fell in love with Shanna she was one of my volunteers with Youth for Christ and Campus Life. I knew she was special before we even started dating when she passionately shared something I’ll never forget, “You’re either a missionary or mission field.”
Not only is she right but she lives by this code.
What is a personal mission statement?
I’m glad you asked. It is a dynamic strategy that captures your best understanding your unique, God-given, contribution to this world during your short stay. It is a tapestry of all the things you love and have experienced wrapped into one statement under 50 words.
It provides a prayer path through the many blessings and tragedies in life. It is a compass. It is a visual reminder of why you exist on this planet, region, and unique time in history. A personal mission statement provides vision, direction, and reasons to say no to good things in order to do great things for God.
It will help you stay on track during times of stress and testing. It provides the decision-making grid to navigate. It points out areas where intentional growth and mentoring are needed to achieve the most impact. And it serves as a personal call to arms, helping you stay mission minded amidst the plethora of daily distractions.
I firmly believe Psalm 20:4 is for us today, “May He grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose!” A quarter of a century ago I crafted my first mission statement, 44 words that has hardly changed. Here it is...
So, my friend, who are you? Every man who deeply desires God’s best must answer this question of questions.
Let me rephrase the question before you trap yourself in some generic Christian cliché. Besides being a child of God, how has God uniquely crafted you? How are you a gift to this world? The answer to this question is found in your hand. In the story of God calling Moses out of a burning bush to lead the captive Israelite nation’s Exodus, God asks Moses “What is that in your hand?”...
2020 Hindsight is 20/20
Last year was unprecedented in so many ways. Where many struggled, with God's blessing 2020 was Men in the Arena's best ministry year to date. All of these goals were set at our annual Board of Directors Course Setting Retreat that we have every January. Below are some bulleted highlights from 2020.
- Obtained Wordserve Literary as our book agent
- Are negotiating a publishing contract with Five Stones Press
- Online auction "audible" raised $10,000 more than all previous fundraisers.
- Finished two books that will be released in 2021
- Started a weekly service for local men called the "Arena Gathering"
- Joined the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Ministries to Men
- Men in the Arena Podcast had downloads from 122 nations
- The Instagram following grew from 300 to over 4,100
- Several posts had over 15,000 likes
- Financial Champion team is the strongest it has ever been
- Paid staff team grew from two to six
- Our new online assessment is weeks away from being released on our website. We believe God will use it to reach one million men.