“What is your mission statement?” Pastor Steve asked last Sunday. These words have been sitting uneasily on my heart ever since. Have they affected you the same way?
I remember when mission statements became the rave in the 90s. Heated meetings were held in corporate board rooms across the country in an effort to “hammer out a mission statement”. At the time, I thought the whole thing was a lot of hype, a passing phase, like “paradigm shifts” and “diversity training”. But now, I can see the point. Having a mission statement unifies workers. It defines the group’s purpose and serves as the force behind each action and decision. Fulfilling the mission is top priority.
Here are a few mission statements of well known corporations. See if you can match them up:
A. Mary Kay 1. to make people happy.
B. MacDonald’s 2. to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
C. Walt Disney 3. to give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same thing as rich people.
D. Google 4. to give unlimited opportunity to women
E. Wal Mart 5. to be the world’s best quick service restaurant experience.
The disciple Andrew had a mission: “bring people to Jesus”. He invited friends to get to know his Savior and when they did, they were converted. To know Jesus is to love Him, right? “So what is your mission?” Steve asked. Oooh. His question forced me to stop and examine my motives. What IS my mission? What drives my actions and decisions? What (honestly, now…) is my first priority?? The answer I got was not pretty. In fact, it really stunk. Lately, my focus (and even my prayers) has been about my comfort, convenience, safety, time management, cooperative weather, etc. It seems my mission statement is more: “to keep my agenda”, than to: “bring Jesus to people.” Ouch.
I have to tell you something I noticed about Pastor Steve long ago. (And it is why I found his self-inquiry on Sunday so ironic.) For years, my husband has been a reluctant, infrequent attendee at GLCC. He joins us for service twice a year and in the past, for a few EOY AWANA ceremonies. At church, he feels awkward, alone, and very out-of-place. In fact, he can’t wait to get out our doors! But when he comes, Pastor Steve will often greet him with a warm smile, handshake, and casual talk. In fact, I’ve actually seen him weave through a crowded room, away from the snack table and past familiar friends in order to do this very thing. It brings a golf-ball lump to my throat every time I see it happen! And it says more to my husband about Jesus than anything else ever could! What impact such a simple act has had! No, Steve has not forgotten the mission.
I think Jesus wants us to remember the mission too. We are to keep our eyes trained on His work, and not be sidetracked by the things of this world (like my agenda, for example). As Christians, we have been commissioned like Andrew: bring people to Jesus/bring Jesus to people. It’s not just a pastor’s job, it’s my job too.
God is showing me my misplaced priorities. And yes, the truth hurts. But I’m learning. Join me as I try to live out His mission: bring Jesus to the world - one smile, one handshake, one prayer at a time. It really does make a difference.
Answer: A-4, B-5, C-1, D-2, E-3