Why do you need one?
What exactly is a personal mission statement?
Let me share a few from the Bible. (There are many more!)
- But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD (Joshua 24:15b).
- All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient (Exodus 24:7b).
- I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee (Psalm 22:22).
- But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself (Daniel 1:8).
- Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another (Romans 14:19).
- Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
- For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).
- Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain (Philippians 2:16).
What’s yours? Have you ever given it any thought?
Back in 2013, I took up a friend’s challenge and wrote out my personal statement. (It was Psalm 146:1-2—about living my life in praise to God.) Since then, I’ve adopted the Great Commission as one of my life guidelines. It has helped me to frame daily plans. (We’re empty nesters and I have more time to do what I choose. You moms and teachers will surely understand the difference this makes.) Sometimes I ask myself: does this activity or opportunity line up with what I know God wants me to do?
- It helped me say yes or no to ministry possibilities.
- It helped me prioritize my efforts.
- It helped me keep my life goals prominent in my own mind.
- It’s helped me weed out what I post online.
- It helps me sift my answers.
I am far from where I’d like to be, and I have more projects in mind than I’ll probably live to accomplish, but I have a life guideline, a mission statement based on Scripture.
For me, my personal mission statements translate this way:
- Am I living my life in praise?
- Do I edify others—saved and unsaved—when I speak, write, or teach?
- Do I encourage and build up the church?
- Do I have a cheerful spirit—even when I don’t feel good?
- When I want to comment, I ask myself, will this actually be helpful towards guiding this person towards Christ? You’d be surprised how many times I don’t reply.
- My husband and I have ruled out certain kinds of comments. On social media, I just scroll on by those. (This is a time saver.)
- Am I actively discipling others?
Your personal mission statement might look like this: survive! I've had toddlers, too, and I totally get it! You may be struggling with time pressures, ministry pressures, and hubby pressures. You feel like you are super behind, all the time.
My advice is to ask God to give you a mission statement for this time in your life. It will help you filter your phone calls, commitments, and social media activity. (These three will give you hours of extra time!) Make sure your purpose statement is in line with God’s priorities.
- For example, if you have children at home, you might choose Deuteronomy 6:5-7: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
- If you are married without children, it could be: She that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband (1 Corinthians 7:34b). Have you asked your husband what his priorities are for you? Do it. You’ll be surprised!
- The single missionary woman also has clear Scriptural guidelines: The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit (from 1 Corinthians 7:34a). Wow! Stay pure in body and spirit—holy. Care for the things of the Lord. What does God care about? Your relationship with Him and with others. He loves women. He loves children. Where should you invest your life? Ask the Lord to guide you.
If you take up my challenge and come up with your own personal mission statement, please share it in the comments. (If you choose not to, it’s quite okay, of course! The Bible doesn’t say thou shalt make up a personal mission statement.)
Whoever you are and wherever you are, may God bless you and your ministry today!