Do You Have a Mission Statement? Part II


Since I only had one respondent to Do You Have a Mission Statement?, maybe this topic is even more important than I thought (or maybe it’s been overdone.  Feel free to comment on this topic if you desire).  As you may remember, I’m sharing my notes from a presentation by a physician who spoke to the PSU-Hershey Christian Medical Society.  Good material!  My purpose is to stimulate conversation/thought on:

Do you have a personal mission statement? If so, how did you come about one?  Was this a part of (or separate from) your undergraduate/graduate academic community, adviser’s mentoring, campus ministry,  “journey,” training?

If you haven’t explored this territory in the past, I hope that this post encourages you to do such.


As I noted last week, the physician began by pointing out the incompleteness of success defined as

“‘Be smart + work hard + be nice’ plus some God.”

He focused upon how we must be open and available to God integrating into all aspects of our life, even the good ones. Imagine a Calculus integration problem. Furthermore, cultivate a vision for life: a single image which captures your imagination, as it is inspired by God, in movement toward an ultimate goal.  For more visit Do You Have a Mission Statement?

“Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC” Cover

New material

  • Vocation/calling is the practical/mystical intersection of need and passion.
    • The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet. — Frederick Buechner.  Wishful Thinking (HarperCollins. 1993. 119).
    • Listening to the voice of God depends on silence. But as it is easy to deceive oneself, one must weigh what one hears against the wise counsel of others.
  • Vision to Mission Statement:  start at the “end” (with your vision) and move backward
    • Imagine your eulogy, i.e., one that tells the story as it truly was.
    • Create a mission statement through self-examination which includes all the elements of your life (Physical, Professional, Social, Spiritual)
      • Memorable, recite to self.
      • Sample:
        • Build the Kingdom of God
          • Know God
          • Serve God
          • Good Husband
          • Good Father
          • Good Physician
          • Live Simply
          • Live Healthily
      • Set goals and strategy. Map to get to your goals through conscious and intentional living which stays on the narrow road in the midst of all the pressures and people who seek to shape your schedule
      • Follow through by
        • Living consciously/intentionally
        • Setting priorities
        • Saying “yes”/”no”
        • Acting courageously.
        • Being strong.
        • Doing everything in love (I Corinthians 16:14)
        • No regrets in the care for time, energy, relationships.
      • Specific suggestions:
        • Daily reading of the Word of God
        • Praying on your knees, i.e., a physical act of humility
        • Create a mission statement and a strategic plan
        • Journal
          • Many of us “think better” when writing.  [Note:  Although I brainstorm best in conversation, my ideas receive valuable refinement and memories “remembered” when the time is taken to “write them down on paper”].
          • First page:  review of goals, mission statement
          • One entry per day.  May be short.
        • Frequent self-reminders (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly)
        • Yearly assessment. Note: speaker does his yearly assessment on his birthday in late December.  Great timing for reviewing the year and preparing for the next.
        • Important to be intentional and strategic
  • Keep God in the formula, integrated throughout the entirety of the formula, i.e., all aspects of life.
  • “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Cover

    A Few Resources to Stimulate Further Exploration of the Topic

“Wise Stewards” Cover

“The Call” Cover

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Tom Grosh IV

Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!

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    Kelly commented on November 5, 2010 Reply

    Thanks Tom for the post – it’s definitely thought provoking. I tend to be someone who sets a lot of goals for myself, and am hard on myself when I’m not accomplishing them! So in a sense, formalizing a vision/mission statement would be tough for me.

    It’s also interesting – I don’t know if you remember my talk at CMS (right before I left PA) on my grad school journey as a puzzle. I feel like as I’ve followed God in the minute steps of the journey, that I’ve actually lived out the vision/mission statement of my life, without knowing the details ahead of time! It’s kind of like a puzzle that doesn’t come with the picture – sometimes your vision is just to get the edges done, or fit together the green pieces. At least in my experience, having those short term vision/goals reminds me that I don’t have to have all the answers ahead of time, and that God is the one who ultimately shapes my journey.

  • Tom Grosh IV commented on November 11, 2010 Reply

    Thank-you for sharing Kelly! The material which you shared in your presentation was excellent, I still have it on file. Would you be “up” for shaping it into a post for ESN?

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