I stood at the door watching a nervously busy woman get slides ready and scanned the empty rows of chairs.
Do I really want to attend a seminar titled “How to Create a Mission Statement”?
Not only did the topic seem boring, but the instructor . . . well, she didn’t seem to have her stuff together and, by the looks of it, her presentation would be uninspiring as well.
But since I didn’t have much else to do, I went in and took a seat. The room filled and by the time the session began, she was so nervous she hardly had a voice.
I nailed this one with my first instinct, or so I thought.
Boy was I wrong, not about her nervousness or the dry topic, but about the inspiring part.
Her shoulders straightened and her voice strengthened somewhat as she said, “I’m going to show you how a mission statement can help you follow God and make you more effective and focused in your work. You’ll be able to achieve your goals—and God’s plans—much quicker (Tweet that).”
I was blown away. That’s exactly what I wanted to know. How to be more effective and achieve more. So, I leaned in . . .
With what I discovered in that class, I created both a vision statement and a mission statement.
What is a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement
- A mission statement is a couple of sentences that summarize what we do. If you will, it is our current calling that keeps us focused on our mission.
- A vision statement is a list of our dreams we want to accomplish. It is our future-self looking back and saying, “I had a dream to (fill in the blank) and with God’s help, I did it.”
As I went through the exercises to create these statements, I felt like I discovered myself. My passion for the work I wanted to do was written down and it held some wonderful power over me. I was empowered to do the hard work of creating it.
Creating the 2 Statements
Because I’m a dreamer of awesome possibilities, I found it easy to create the vision statement. I dreamed of what I wanted to accomplish and wrote it down. Not the random stuff of a bucket list, but the grand stuff of what I’d do or create if I had no limitations. These what-if dreams become more concrete when written down.
But the mission statement was more difficult. I had to think about the actions I would do in working within my vision then answer these questions:
- What three verbs encapsulate what I did?
- Who did I do it for?
- And what was my purpose in doing it?
After finding the answers, I strung them together, made a sentence or two, and called it my mission statement.
These two statements gave me both freedom and direction. They guide my daily work and keep me accountable to finishing God’s plan for my life.
If you want to read up some more about mission statements, check out Laurie Beth Jones’ The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and Life (affiliate link).
What about you? Do you have personal statements like these? If so, how do they help you be a finisher?