With the author’s permission, this post has been adapted from an essay of the same title originally published at ShawndraLucas.com.
In John 10, Jesus gives a clarion call wrapped in a simple parable about a shepherd and his sheep. He acknowledges that the sheep are vulnerable to sneak attacks from an enemy intent on capturing the sheep and taking them hostage as his own. Then comes his big thesis statement; > “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. -John 10:10 (ESV) When Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy,” he’s giving us Satan’s mission statement. Yes, Satan has a mission statement. The question is—why don’t you? Jesus is calling us to respond with our own clear, concise personal statement of mission. Here are four tips for writing a mission statement that will actually keep you on mission. Be You. Nobody else is on your mission but you. Nobody else is responsible for your mission but you. Nobody else has to work it out, sweat it out, live it out—but you. So there is no need to impress or sound like you have it all together. This is for you. Be Clear. If it takes more than a heartbeat for you to be inspired by your own mission statement—it’s not the one. If you can’t quickly and clearly articulate it to someone who has never heard it before—it’s not working. Drop the big, fancy words, and get rid of the clausy sentences. Come right out and say what you mean. Clarity is key. Be Sure. There are no deadlines here. You are not under the gun to write a mission statement in one sitting. Prayerfully write it and rewrite it several times if you have to. The most important thing is that you are sure that the “final statement” articulates your best sense of what God is asking of you right now. Be Flexible. The term “final statement” is in quotes above because I’m not so sure if we ever have a final, forever version of our personal mission statement. God works in our lives through seasons and stages, and it’s important to stay open to what he is doing right now. God has called us to be people on mission. But we can’t be on a mission if there isn’t one resonating through our minds and hearts every day. Satan came to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came to give us each an abundant life.