I was wandering through the bookstore, not really having a genre in mind to purchase.
Aimless and meandering are accurate descriptors of my shopping habits that day, and my life at that time.
I was deep in a season of transition: career change, caring for a new baby and recent high-school graduate at the same time, considering further education, trying to find my place in a new church – you get the picture.
My eye was drawn to a book on writing a personal mission statement.
This does not happen very often, but I was so attracted to the book that I just knew God had something for me within its pages.
I purchased it and followed the plan for writing my personal mission statement. This single sentence filled my heart with purpose and gave me direction:
I was made to touch and be open with people and facilitate opportunities for them to come closer to God.
In my previous (small) church I had a role in both music and women’s ministries.
I organized teams, led retreats, and “facilitated” everything from food to prayer. I was a leader who had followers.
Now, in my new (extra-large) church, I was lost and not sure where to begin to find my place.
Moving to a different church (or home, or job) is difficult to navigate, but now add to that, the fact I was 43 years old with a newborn and a high school graduate!
Writing a personal mission statement helped me build a healthy framework and boundaries in this new season; it freed me up and helped me to relax in the new spaces God had placed me.
I was not yet at a place in my new church where I could use my ability to facilitate and administrate, but I could still be me: being open with and touching other women’s hearts.
And at home, there was plenty of loving and organizing to do!Writing a personal mission statement will help you build a healthy framework and godly boundaries for this new season.
What is a personal mission statement?
Vision, mission, goals, dreams, identity, and purpose are buzz words that can get so confusing when you are trying to figure out who you are and where you should be going.
Let’s start with simplified definitions in personal terms.
- Mission focuses on today and frames my everyday words and actions. (Mission describes how I am uniquely designed and equipped.)
- Vision focuses on tomorrow and establishing God-given goals for my life over the long-haul. (Vision is a picture of who I am becoming.)
Ephesians 2:10 NASB announces that you are a masterpiece, skillfully and artfully created in Christ Jesus:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Workmanship is the Greek word poiema which means, “that which has been made,” and “a work of God as creator.” Poiema is where we derive our English word poem.
Paul chose this word carefully and only uses it in one other place in the New Testament.
For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. Romans 1:20 HCSB
Jon Bloom describes it this way, “Here it takes five English words to unpack poiema. All that we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell in the universe is reading God’s creative masterpiece, his epic poem.”
Paul uses this same term to describe you! You are masterfully created and uniquely designed by God.
Jesus Christ was “On Mission”
Jesus is our example, and He knew exactly what His mission was. He was sent into the world so that we could have abundant life. His personal mission statement is found in John 10:10 HCSB:
A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
Everything Jesus did was framed by his personal mission statement, whether He was turning water into wine, teaching on a hillside, spending hours with people as they lined up for healing, or extending grace and forgiveness to an adulterous woman.
What? Who? How?
A personal mission statement answers three questions:
- What – What you do. Every mission requires action.
- Who – Who do you do it for? Who are the people you impact?
- How – How do you do what you do? How and where are you “on mission?”
Let’s take a closer look at the what, who, and how of Jesus’ mission. Here are a few more mission clarifying verses found in the gospels:
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life – a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 HCSB
The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him. He began by saying to them, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.” Luke 4:18-21 HCSB
The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works. 1 John 3:8b HCSB
What are the action verbs that describe Jesus’ mission? He came, served, gave, preached, proclaimed freedom and favor, recovered sight, freed the oppressed, and destroyed the Devil’s work.
Who was the focus of Jesus’ mission on earth? He came for the poor, the captive, the blind, the oppressed, and those in need of abundant, eternal life.
How did Jesus fulfill his mission? He came to earth, gave his life on the cross, rose from the dead, and destroyed the works of the Devil.
The Church’s Mission Statement
After Jesus’ resurrection, He met with His disciples and gave the church her mission:
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20 HCSB
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 HCSB
What are the action verbs that describe the church’s mission? We are to go, make disciples, baptize, teach, and be a witness for the Gospel.
Who is the focus of the church’s mission? Our “who” is all people, of all nations, from our homes to the ends of the earth.
How does the church fulfill its mission? Through the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s presence with us, we share the Gospel in each space that God has placed us.What are the action verbs that describe the church’s mission? We are to go, make disciples, baptize, teach, and be a witness for the Gospel.
Writing Your Personal Mission Statement
I encourage you to take time in prayer and thought and answer the same three questions:
- What are the action verbs that describe how God uniquely designed and equipped me?
- Who do I have a passion to serve? Who do I want to most be with, influence, and impact?
- How will I fulfill my mission; the good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that (I) should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 HCSB) Where are the spaces God has placed me? Where are my circles of influence?
Os Guinness wrote, “The truth is not that God is finding us a place for our gifts but that God has created us and our gifts for a place of his choosing – and we will only be ourselves when we are finally there.”
There is no one else like you; created so uniquely with your specific personality, abilities, mannerisms, gifts, talents, and calling.There is no one else like you; created so uniquely with your specific personality, abilities, mannerisms, gifts, talents, and calling.
I pray you live to your potential and allow God to use you in the places that can only be reached by you.
Write your personal mission statement today and let that one sentence propel you forward.
Becky encourages women to live a flourishing life through coaching, free Bible reading plans, and Bible studies. Becky coaches one-on-one (in person, phone call, or Zoom) and in group classes. She empowers women who feel stuck in a season or lost in a transition, to confidently take the next step. Check out her free Personal Mission Statement Workshop or connect with her through her website and on Facebook and Instagram.