"Mission Statement" is a Verb (Part I of a five-part series)

June 10, 2015

The more I meet with people to write their mission statements, the more impacted I am by them.  What I mean is that having a conversation with someone about the essence of who they are somehow allows who they are to shine more brightly.  I get so shined on by people, especially right after doing their life mission statement session.


To put it simply, I get “mission-stated” on.  If you ask me, the term mission statement is a verb.  It’s not merely something you have.  It’s something you DO.


For Christ followers, a life mission statement is the godly, redemptive CORE thing you do as a new creature in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17).  It’s something that is encoded in your “new self.”  Something that makes the image of God in you not only evident—but radiant—and powerfully healing to others. 


Let me give a concrete illustration. 


One guy (I’ll call him “Brandon”) comes in for a session and says this:  “I want something violent and permanent!”  So as we go, I say to him after listening to him, “You hate lies, don’t you?”  He nods and responds with a resounding, “Yes!” 


Then I say, “You don’t want to rescue people from lies.  You want to do something more permanently than that, right?”  He assures me that is absolutely right. 


When I learn that Brandon wants to challenge people to take responsible action to disentangle themselves from lies that are oppressing them, I ask him, “Do you like the word provoke?”  He says he loves that word.


So I figure out Brandon’s life mission statement is this:  To provoke people to dismantle the lies instilled in them and compel them to accept themselves.


Usually I won’t write a double-verbed life mission statement, but for Brandon I did because he provokes people in order to compel them to accept themselves.  For Brandon, it’s all one concept. The point I am trying to make is this.  A few days after that session, I found myself feeling strangely agitated.  Inexplicably I felt compelled to sit down all afternoon and identify lies that were in my head and slough them off in exchange for self-acceptance.   NOTE:  My client did not ask me to do this!  Brandon and I didn’t even talk about me in his session. 


I believe the reason I felt compelled to take responsibility myself to dismantle (practically run a demolition) lies in my head is precisely because I had recently been with Brandon.  When I say “with,” it’s important to clarify that I wasn’t just chatting with him or hanging out with him in a group setting.  I was with him right after he had been de-barnacled, so to speak, in his life mission statement session.  I was with him right after he had discovered unprecedented clarity about himself.  


When I sat with Brandon face to face, he radiated on me.   He mission-stated me.      


God brought healing to me by gracing me with time to be with Brandon in conversation about his most pressing passion.  Doesn’t that make you like Brandon? 


My encouragement to you is to talk about your life mission statement with others.  You might be surprised by the power you have to “mission statement” others yourself. 

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