Mission statements are usually associated with companies and organizations. They are used to unite a team of employees behind a shared why, answering these questions: Why do we exist? Why do we do what we do? What is our purpose? A mission statement is a powerful tool, aligning employees as they work towards a goal and informing customers and clients of the organization’s core heartbeat.
Here are some examples:
Honest Company: “Meaningful transparency and thoughtful design. We’re on a mission to change the world, one product at a time.”
Spotify: “To unlock the potential of human creativity by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.”
Google: “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
It is fascinating to look at the mission statements behind these well-known companies, but mission statements are not just helpful for large corporations.
When I was a high school teacher, I’d have my students create a class mission statement. It was such a wonderful experience to watch these young people form thoughts and collaborate on a mission. Who did they want to be, and what did they want to be known for?
This simple activity united them, reminded them to think purposefully, and helped them understand the importance of living with intentionality and purpose as they went out into the world of “adulting.” It taught them that God had a mission for them in this life.
Creating a personal mission statement provides us with a chance to analyze our lives in light of who God has created us to be. It gives us a chance to look at who we are, who we have been created to be, and what our unique mission is.
But how exactly can you craft a mission statement for your own life? Well, here are three steps to writing a personal mission statement that will help you live intentionally and with great purpose.
Step 1: Consider Scripture
Jesus provided a mission statement to his disciples. In what is commonly known as the Great Commission, the resurrected Jesus said,
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19–20 CSB)
What powerful words! Jesus was setting before his disciples a mission that would continue even after Jesus ascended to heaven. In fact, it was not even over once the original disciples had passed on from this life. This original mission statement lives on as a call for those of us following Jesus today.
Suffice it to say, our personal mission statements should find their root in this commission, along with other formative purposes we are given in Scripture, such as our call to love God and love others (Matthew 22:34–40) and to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13–16).
By starting with Scripture, we can ensure that we are finding our mission in who Jesus has declared us to be as his followers and in the work he has given us to do.
Step 2: Consider Yourself
It is also extremely helpful to root your personal mission statement in who God has uniquely created you to be. As the apostle Paul writes,
Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts… (Romans 12:4–6 CSB)
It is important that the mission statement we create reflects the uniqueness of who we are. For example, I am a storyteller. This is at the core of who I am, and my own personal mission statement—”telling stories for God’s glory, inspiring people to move closer to Jesus”—reflects this.
Take some time to consider how God has created you, what your gifts and passions are, and where those gifts and passions intersect with the needs of others. In doing so, you will be able to narrow down your mission to something that feels uniquely you!
Step 3: Consider God’s Glory
Last—though of course not least—it is vital that our personal mission statement takes into account bringing God glory. As Paul declares in Acts, it is from God that every person across space and time finds their ultimate purpose:
For in him we live and move and have our being… (Acts 17:28 CSB)
Paul doubles down on this in his letter to the Roman church, writing,
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. (Romans 12:1 CSB)
By focusing our personal mission statement—and therefore our lives—towards God’s glory, we’ll find that our hearts are properly oriented towards God, worshiping him in all we do.
In my case, my mission statement continually reminds me that when I tell stories, in accordance with my gifts and passion, my mission is not for my own glory or for the glory of the story itself. Rather, in all I do and write, I am to give God the glory. Those words point to every moment of my life and call in one direction.
In a very real way, God himself is my why—my purpose for doing what I do, for existing. And he desires to be at the core of every personal mission statement, each and all.
So why do we need a personal mission statement?
Well, to be honest, it’s not something that is required, but it is a helpful tool that creates a space for us to consider our place here on this earth. It helps us to ask, “How do I live my life on mission for Jesus? How am I shining his light in all I do, in all the places and people I touch?”
For me, telling stories is what I feel called to do, but that does not mean my life on mission ends when the story is over. I want to have a positive impact on my family, my friends, and the people I come in contact with, even if stories aren’t involved. And perhaps my mission will change or adjust slightly as God grows me and makes me aware of new aspects of my calling that I haven’t yet considered.
In the end, as a Christian, you have a unique opportunity to shine Jesus’ light every day, no matter what you decide your mission is. You can treat every new day as a chance to love others and glorify God. What might happen in the world if each of us decided every morning that “today I am going to live on mission for Jesus”?
It would affect every decision we make, every word we say, and put Jesus at the center of everything we do, making a deep impact on the world in Jesus’ name.
So, what might it look like to prayerfully start drafting your own mission statement this week? I challenge you to sit, think, pray, and write.