I've been sharing my journey of creating a personal mission statement in the hopes that it might inspire you to do something similar for yourself or your organization. You can read about mission statements here and about core values here. Today it's all about vision; crafting a good, compelling vision can motivate, define your goals and give your mission a fine point.
Often the terms 'vision' and 'mission' are used interchangeably (I think this is mostly because people don't know why they should have either one). But the difference is compelling. Take, for example, the vision of Kairos Church Planting:
A nationwide movement of New Churches in New Places for New People growing from the heart and fellowship of Churches of Christ.This statement says where they are going. It's the reason for their existence and it provides a trajectory for all activity. It's a future oriented statement that coalesces the values and passions of the organization.
Their mission, on the other hand is:
To recruit, equip and support church multiplication leaders to plant new churches—that plant more new churches—and launch regional church planting networks.The mission defines what they will do to accomplish the vision. The vision gives the what and the mission describes the how. A vision statement isn't specific on the time or the measurements used to define success, but it lends itself to those measurements and specifications. So Kairos wants to be:
- "nationwide" - that can be measured and defined in several ways
- "new churches, new places, new people" - this is the core of the vision and each can be given a metric - how many churches? what places? which people? in what time?
- "Churches of Christ" - tells us the specific group of churches that will connect with these church plants.
At the end of five or ten years, Kairos can look back on its vision and determine if they've been successful or not. They have a pre-defined, stationary target at which they're aiming.
My personal vision statement is:
I will educate and inspire people to meaningful action that improves their skills, marriages and obedience to Jesus.This gives me some clear and objective ways to measure my personal success:
- Number of people I've mentored.
- Number of people who've heard my message.
- Through book sales, speaking engagements and blog posts
- Number of people familiar with my message.
- Activities inspired by my teaching.
How will you know if you've achieved your vision? What are you aiming at today?