B. Keith Chapman, President & CEO
Mission statements have long been a part of organizational identity. These statements help define purpose for both internal and external stakeholders. Most people’s experience with a mission stems from their role as part of a structured organization. It is relatively easy to write a mission, but difficult to infuse it into the organizational culture. A mission is most effective when people embrace it as a core foundation of their behavior, decision making and overall daily focus. However, a mission is even more important when looked at from the perspective of an individual. Each of us was created with gifts and talents unique to us as individuals that support our mission. Do you understand what your mission is both personally and professionally?
As we enter the month of April, much attention will be placed on the Easter holiday. Many will take time to remember the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior. While His time on earth was short, His impact was powerful enough to change the world forever. Jesus had a mission that was much greater than the success of a single individual or group. Rather, it was a personal mission involving great sacrifice that benefited all of mankind. In Luke 19:10 Jesus explains His mission, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus understood His mission and purpose at a very early age. However, many at the time did not understand, that for Him to “save the lost”, He would pay the ultimate price. Jesus understood that His mission in life would lead to unimaginable pain, humiliation and death. His purpose was greater than Himself, and His commitment to see the mission accomplished was unshakable. The last directive that Jesus gave His followers was to go into the world and share the gospel (or good news). Many might think that this applies only to those in full time ministry. But what about those who use their talents as firefighters, accountants, electricians, technicians, etc. Each of these professions play an important role in society as well, and they too have the opportunity to influence people by spreading the “good news”.
This monthly article called “Living the Mission” was titled based on the thought that we each have a purpose and mission. Many of the challenges and struggles we experience as we execute our missions are often not unique to us as individuals. Meaning, we all struggle from time to time and benefit from a little encouragement or a simple reminder of the truth. In a world filled with confusion and conflict, embracing a personal mission that lines up with the truth found in God’s word can add value and purpose to our lives. Colossians 3:15-17 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” A personal mission statement based on this passage could read something like this: My mission is to allow the peace of Christ to lead my heart as I give thanks to Him in all things. My testimony will be strong and encouraging to others by ensuring that everything that I do or say brings glory to His name. When put in the form of a mission statement, this passage helps clarify purpose and creates a measurable action plan. This can be a useful technique in reminding us of our purpose and role in influencing our friends, families and organizations.