“People, even leaders, typically define themselves in terms of jobs. position descriptions, or roles. Great leaders on the other hand, tell you what the intend to accomplish, the mission they are on. ‘I am working to change __________ or investing my life in ____________ in order to.1”
On Saturday night this weekend I spent some time studying for a counseling session with a friend when my mind was consumed by a simple but profound question, “What is my mission in life.” Most of us have a Calling (mine is to be a missionary in Melbourne Australia) and ministry goal or Purpose (to reach the lost of Melbourne) but the mission goes deeper by explaining exactly how you would live out the Calling and achieve your Purpose with the Lord’s help. We find our mission by studying Scripture, our talents or spiritual gifts, specific burdens that God has placed on our hearts, or opportunities the Lord has provided.
It frightened me when I couldn’t find an answer tot he question in my mind, especially since the Calling and Purpose were so clearly understood. Thankfully after spending a few days in prayer and Bible reading the Lord did clarify the Mission He planned for my life. That is to mentor and disciple young people for the Glory of God.
The interesting thing about finding God’s Mission for your life is it reveals how much of your life doesn’t fit with His plan. I found ministries that were enjoyable but at the same time took time, energy, and finances that could be used teaching others. My ministry was quite busy because of the many different ministry opportunities but wasn’t effective because the actions didn’t lead me down the path towards God’s Mission for me.
Thats why today I am quitting one of my favorite ministry opportunities and praying about what else the Lord wants me to eliminate from my schedule. Of course that free time would then be invested in ministering to young people who don’t know Christ, learning how to be a better mentor, and discipling Christian young people. But that all begins with eliminating things that don’t fit with the Mission.
Will we always be able to eliminate what hinders us from that Mission? Of course not, but the important thing is to understand there is a difference between being busy and effective and its only as we clearly understand God’s plan for our lives that we can realize it.
1 Reggie McNeal, Practicing Greatness. pg. 82, par.3. ln.1