October has arrived in Escondido with the promise of some cooler days. I’m hopeful.
We’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on construction and things are really starting to look great. By the time you read this, we will have finished our annual Oktoberfest celebration, for the first time reaching out beyond our Chalice community to our friends and neighbors.
The Strong Finish fundraising campaign is roaring along with you all donating $33,637 towards the needed $50,000. We still need another $16,363. Meanwhile, our new Director of Family Ministries, Chris O’Connor, is heading up our Finish and Furnish Task Force to select our new playground, as well as furnishings for the Hub. Congregants will remember that a communal discussion to collect ideas about the new playground was held on May 19. Notes from that discussion have been given to the task force to inform their work.
Personally, I’ve been thinking a lot about mission statements. I know that sounds a bit boring, but believe me, it’s only the name that’s boring, not the subject. I mentioned in an earlier letter that we’d be having a congregation-wide conversation about Chalice’s mission later this year. Right now, I’m more interested in exploring the idea of personal mission statements, also called purpose statements.
My interest in this subject comes from the fact that over the last year I’ve started to feel like a juggler with too many balls (or meat cleavers) in the air. I struggle with focusing on the most important thing to do next, and I don’t have enough hours in the day. I envy the people who retire and complain about boredom. I really do.
Enter the personal mission statement. In theory, with this statement in-hand you simply compare the next task to your mission, and if the task leads towards fulfillment of the mission then you work the task; otherwise you table it. (Using mission to focus is only one use of mission. There are others.)
The internet is full of articles on creating a personal mission statement. If you are interested in learning more you can Google the topic or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you some links. That said, here’s a distilled version of the process.
-Make a list of the things you are truly passionate about. These are the things that bring you joy.
-Make a list of the things that you are really good at. You’re looking for your core values, the things you can do that others aren’t so good at. Study these lists until you develop a clear sense of where they intersect. Once you have a short list of the things you are good at, are passionate about, and that match your values, you are ready to craft your mission statement. This short list is the “tools” you bring for getting things done.
-Next determine what your primary “goal” is, like “make the world safer”, “be a better leader”, or “enjoy retirement.” Once you have your tools and your goal, your mission statement can be as simple as, “my mission is to use my ’tools’ to accomplish my ‘goal’.
There are at least two different kinds of personal mission statements: goal-oriented missions and personal behavior missions. I’ve only written about goal-oriented missions; I leave personal behavior missions for another day. Goal-oriented missions should change every few years to reflect your stage of life. Behavior missions shouldn’t change much.
This necessarily simplifies the material I have been studying, but that’s the gist of it. I encourage you to think about mission statements and perhaps do some reading on your own.