Monday, February 20, 2017

My Personal Mission Statement- and the different resources that helped me draft it

My Personal Mission Statement-

This is something I've heard of and looking back I remember I had to compile a career centered one in college years and years ago. It's a topic I've come across from time to time in devotion books or on Pinterest. But honestly, not something I've ever officially put together for myself. This weekend I decided to dig into this a little more, with a few different resources kind of all coming together to form the version I came up with. I don't think there's a right or wrong way to do this- and also no right or wrong way to finish.  But different ways to emphasize or focus. 

A few things I knew I wanted to include were:
       1. my spiritual gifts (a topic my friends and I have been discussing/how they fit into ways we serve at church and how to use them the way God intended. We've also been curious what ours actually are- and how to learn more about them)
       2.  my strengths (this includes my personality strengths) 
       3. the areas God is asking me to give in during this season of life (Eg. homeschooling.  This is a high priority role I'm filling right now, but likely only for a season of life- not my entire life like the role of wife or mom)  
       4. the bigger picture questions that include- eternal perspective, earthy quests/topics that make my heart beat a little faster and things I would consider myself passionate about. 

Saturday afternoon rolled around and I brewed some fresh coffee, sent my kids outside with Josh (let's be real-life here... coffee and quiet pair up perfectly for a great work environment) I gathered all the different resources together and took notes in a notebook as I went through.  It was interesting and deep, and I found it fun and fulfilling to explore and contemplate.  It was not a project that felt like a drag at all- actually it was all-consuming and I didn't want to stop!

This blog is where I started, it had me list a few different things:  3-5 things that I want out of life, 3-5 things I'm passionate about, 3-5 goals or life improvements. I'd say this one was lighter- not as deep as other resources, but did get my gears turning and was a great starting place. A pretty great outline to kick off this journey. A questioned posed that really stood out was, "how do you want to be remembered?" 

The book, You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth, (Amazon Link) is one a group of friends and I did a few years back when we were doing a Bible study/walking group together...  in chapter 8 titled "What does God want me to do with my life" it digs into answering this question by eventually drafting a version of a personal mission statement.  I had mine already there, written in messy black ink waiting to be revised and revisited. It reads: 

 "I am created and called to express my faith through love by encouraging growth to the hearts of those around me through time, prayer and obedience to God's prompting" 

It still fits, but I was ready to do some revamping. 

After taking 4 different spiritual gift assessments online

This one covers 9 task orientated spiritual gifts and gives an overview on how they can be used within the Church. This one covers what are called motivational gifts. (Disclaimer:: I still want to dig deeper into the passages in scripture where spiritual gifts are covered and gain a better understanding of them as a whole) 

I scored what I anticipated I would, highest in Exhortation (encouragement) and second in shepherd (Which explains the joy I feel in teaching Sunday school or Kingdom Quest) That's the whole reason God has given us these gifts in the first place, is to USE them for His glory- so finding this out and plugging in to a local body is really (REALLY!) important.  Serving is key in living a life that is meaningful and fulfilling.  It breaks me out of a selfish mindset and invests in someone other than me. It's rewarding in the deepest sense and I believe we are hardwired and created in a way that gives us satisfaction to serve in ways that you are gifted!

The next step in my notes was I compiled a rough draft statement for each major role I'm living right now.  marriage, mom, friend, teacher etc. Here is an example of my ministry one 

"To serve in church by using my gift of sheparding
 to teach Sunday school and kingdom quest.
Faithfully presenting the Gospel,
 praying for the hearts of the kids in my class
 and cultivating a classroom that encourages spiritual growth"

Then I worked on combining each of my separate ones into one main mission statement that highlighted and joined them together. 

Reflecting on the process as a whole, it was really enlightening. One that I would say each step in the journey was worthwhile, meaningful and I learned a lot as I worked on it.  My prayer is that having this will help me focus my life, my time and the ways I serve in ways that have eternal meaning.  That having this will help me know what's the best yes for me for this season of life. (the best yes book is on my to-read list!) If this isn't a project you've experimented with or a step you've taken I would encourage you to give it some time, some thought and prayer (and of course coffee & quiet!!) and see where God leads you.  I love that each person's statement will be as unique as they are- with different gifts and passions included!  I'd love to hear yours, and to know any other resources that helped you put yours together.  

I think mine may change (likely) as the chapters in my life unroll, but here's my finished (for now) personal mission statement.  

Cultivating a life of service, rooted in Biblical truth and sincere compassion to encourage the hearts I encounter, through investing time, sharing hospitality and speaking truth in love; by obedience to God's prompting. Keeping an eternal perspective and embracing the joy in the daily real-life.

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