Effective life planning involves SIX STEPS aimed at helping you to lead and manage your life well. Today we begin with Step 1.
STEP 1 – Understand Your Mission
The apostle Paul tells us to “understand what the Lord’s will is” (Eph.5:17). What is God's will? What is God’s purpose for your life? How has he made you and what are your desires? Gaining a clear perspective on God's mission for your life is essential. Otherwise, you will become very busy managing all the details of your life without any overall sense of purpose or direction.
There are a number of major aspects to your life mission:
You are called first of all to be a child of God and to have a relationship with him.
Secondly, you have a ministry to your own natural family.
Thirdly, you have a ministry to fulfill within your own local church, the family of God.
- Finally, you have a ministry to serve and reach out to others. This usually includes your career or work, where you seek to make the world a better place through your efforts.
Each one of us must invest time in prayer and contemplation, as well receiving wise counsel, to determine the specific and unique outworking of these four areas in our own life.
Mission answers the question, “Why?” Why are you here and why do you exist? This is core stuff for every person. Jesus had a clear sense of mission. He declared it often – “The Son of man came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10), “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32), “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).” He also gave his disciples a clear sense of mission when he left, referred to as ‘the Great Commission’ (Matthew 28:18-20).
Good mission statements are clear, memorable (short), and ‘big picture’ focused. Our church has a Mission Statement. I also think there are many benefits from crafting a personal mission statement.
Here is my personal mission statement, which I crafted quite a few years back (it has undergone a number of revisions – it's now a little more 'being' focused than 'doing'):
My purpose is to be an intimate friend and lover of God who knows his heart and mind. By faith, I will seek to please him and be actively involved in his work every day of my life.
Spend some time in prayer and reflection, then start to create your own personal mission statement – an expression of what you believe God’s purpose is for your life. Don’t be afraid to make a few drafts first, then over time craft the statement with words that accurately describe what you believe your life mission to be.
Over the next few days, we’ll unpack a variety of different aspects of God’s mission for your life. Then we’ll move on to the next five steps in life planning. Talk to you tomorrow.