Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Mission Statement...Part I

We all know that one principle of founding and operating a commercial business is to formulate a mission statement. (Who can forget the famous scene in Jerry McGuire where Jerry gets carried away in the middle of the night and concocts a long mission statement that gets him into trouble the next day?) When properly written and used, a mission statement helps company executives and workers keep their focus on why they do what they do.

Here's how Wikipedia defines a mission statement: A mission statement is a brief statement of the purpose of a company, religious group, or organization. Companies sometimes use their mission statement as an advertising slogan, but the intention of a mission statement is to keep members and users aware of the organization's purpose.

Mission statements focus on the values, purpose, and vision of an organization. Organizations and individuals who create mission statements and keep them in the forefront of their mind will find that their statements give them direction. They won't be tempted to get sidetracked pursuing things that don't further their main objectives. They will focus on things that do bring them closer to their goal.

Many woman have created lovely mission statements for keeping their homes. Some state their mission statements for writing their blogs, as well.

I'm in the process of creating a new vision statement for that part of my life as a keeper at home. Of course, my overall missions come from the Lord. I suppose there are a number of ways the Lord phrases the plans he has for us, though, of course, every instruction of his complements every other instruction and points us in one direction. Here are a few examples of mission statements we could take from the Bible:

Matthew 28:18-20 -- And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness." Matthew 6:33

"And he answered and said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. " Luke 11:27

"Then Jesus said to them all, if anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." Matthew 16:24.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10

Many people choose life verses or they keep a list of "anchor verses". One verse that I refer to time and time again is "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6. I keep going back to that one, because that seems to be something I consistently need to put into practice.

Of course, we want to take in the whole counsel of God and not just lift our favorite verses out. Many a person or group has erred by building their whole doctrine on isolated verses without seeing how it fits into the larger will of God as expressed in the scriptures. But, if we keep the larger context in mind, remembering and reviewing some key verses helps us stay focused on what is most important in life: loving God with all our being and loving others as ourselves.

Of course, there are verses which define our role in the home as well. Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 provide us with two of the most commonly mentioned ones.

As far as drawing up mission statements for the home, here are three I've enjoyed reading:

Like Merchant Ships My Homekeeping Mission
I'll let you visit this one yourself. It's a lovely example of a statement that is clear, focused, and represents what the author is all about.

Here's a mission from Kathy Peel's book, "The Family Manager": "I oversee a small organization -- Where hundreds of decisions are made daily, where property and resources are managed, where health and nutritional needs are determined, where finances and futures are discussed and debated, where projects are planned and events are arranged, where transportation and scheduling are critical, where team-building is a priority, where careers begin and end. I oversee a small organization: I am a Family Manager.

Here's one from a blogger named Lady Lydia:

So, what about you? What is your mission statement for your life at home. Please leave a comment or link to your home keeping mission statement.



Hadias said...

My mission is to honor and serve the Lord in all that I do.

This is a wonderful topic Elizabeth and it really got me to thinking about the purpose of a mission statement.

Elizabeth said...

That's a great mission, Hadia. It makes me think of col. 1;10 and 3:23.

Thanks for sharing that with us.

Elizabeth said...

Woops, that should be Hadias. I hit the publish button before editing. :)