Why Am I Here? What is My Purpose in Life? - 5 Practical Tips to Craft Your Mission Statement
My Mission, Your Mission, His Mission
Make sure you listen to last week’s Men in the Arena Podcast with the Kansas City Chiefs mascot, Dan Meers. Dan is the man who goes to work every day like any other man, dressed in a suit, but instead of wearing a tie, Dan wears a tail. Dan is KC Wolf, the official mascot of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Make sure you read last week's blog that answers the most important question in life; “Who am I?”
The Second Most Important Question is…
As a follower of Jesus, we should know who we are biblically, which you can discover by searching “who the Bible says I am.” Last week, we wrote about who we are specifically—our unique gift to humanity—that Rick Warren appropriately termed our spiritual SHAPE. Those five things are:
1. Spiritual gifts
2. Heart (or passion)
3. Abilities (or learned skills)
4. Personality (or temperament type)
5. Experiences (or unique history)
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.
To glorify God with my spiritual shape; letting Him mold me through humility into His image, loving my family through honor, living every day to the fullest with courageous abandon, leading others with grace, and leaving a legacy through writing, speaking and changed lives.
How did I do it. Simple. Let me help you with these five difficult steps.
Craft Your Mission in Five Difficult Steps
First, your mission is already a part of who you are. You do not need to make it up, pull it out of thin air or pull a spiritual rabbit out of the hat. In Jesus, you are all you need to be to the point where church father, St. Augustine once said, “Love God and do as you wish.”
Step 1 (one month): BRAINSTORM all your SHAPE from last week, top 4-6 core values, life verses, quotes, and inspirational moments. Give yourself at least a month to do this—even longer if need be. Answer questions like, “What things make me sing, bring great joy, emotionally wreck me, stir up passion, or a hill I will die on? What things do I dream about, cause my mind to soar, makes me cringe, or need to change?”
Do this is in 200 words or less.
Step 2 (one week): CATEGORIZE all that you brainstormed in Step 1 into 4-6 categories. Transfer everything from your Step 1 list into each of these categories, then name each category. My mission statement (above), for example, is categorized into five distinct categories—faith, family, full life, leadership, and legacy.
Do this in 70 words or less.
Step 3 (one day): Pull all of your categories into a single PARAGRAPH that will act as the rough draft of your mission statement. This is the most difficult part. Some helpful hints in this step are to make sure every word is significant, delete redundancies (words that are implied or repeated), avoid superficial words that lack direction or substance, use sensory words you can see, taste, smell, hear or touch, and make it easy to memorize (words with the same first letter, rhyme, or flow).
Do this in 60 words or less.
Step 4 (one hour): By following the helpful hints in Step 3 you will whittle your mission into one, grammatically correct, SENTENCE. This will not take as long, but it will be painful. You skim the remaining fat from your mission and make it flow. This is the honed down version of your mission statement—your final draft. Do not be afraid to add, subtract, or change over time, as small changes arise.
Do this in 50 words or less.
Step 5 (one minute): This is the most important and neglected step. Do not take all the time to craft your mission statement, then walk away, and forget about it. MEMORIZE it and pray over it daily through the course of your life and be transformed over time into your best version. God speed!
Boots on the Ground: What are you waiting for?
Make sure to share your hero stories at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can celebrate your victories with you. Become your best version in Him.