Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On Mission Statements

I find mission statements for churches to be pretty silly.  Seriously, why does a church need a mission statement?  I'm pretty sure Jesus laid out a couple of dandies in the Gospels: "love God with all your heart, mind, and soul and love your neighbor as yourself."  Or, "go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  As if we can better Jesus in trying to create a pithy explanation of why we do what we do.  I know mission statements were all the rage a few years ago and I'm not sure if there's even that much hype around the idea any more.  However, it will be a happy day when mission statements are dropped from the covers of parish bulletins.  

I do get the idea of a personal mission statement.  Your mission encompasses your vocation, how you will live it out, and your ultimate goal.  St. Paul had a rockin' mission statement and it can be found in today's first reading from Acts 20:24:
"Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God’s grace."
35 words and you know the kind of man St. Paul was; you can't get much clearer than that. 

Can I distill my life into 35 words?  It should reflect my life, just like St. Paul's mission statement.  A personal mission statement shouldn't be "pie in the sky" mumbo-jumbo.  Here's my attempt: I will reflect the love of Christ to those I meet, most especially in the roles God assigned to me: wife and mother.  (23 words)  Not a bad start...but really, who am I to think I can best St. Paul?

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