I was in a conversation the other day with the manager of a local branch of a large, very large, national retailer. He was beaming with pride as he told me the mission of the national retailer. You know, “to serve our customers with the highest quality products at the lowest possible price…” blah, blah, blah.
I told him “Not really”. The purpose of this store is NOT to sell products, provide services, or to create jobs. He was perplexed, almost offended. I continued. The purpose of any company is to make a profit for it’s owners. Making a product or providing a service is merely a means to that end. Realizing I was right, he relaxed a little.
Following that conversation, I went to that paragon of analytical rigor – Google – and did a search on mission statements. I guess there’s a website for everything. Someone has a website that aggregates mission statements from a variety of national brands:
I guess corporations put a lot of emphasis on their mission statements because they are perpetual. You see, corporations don’t have funerals. More on that later.
What about you? Do you have a mission statement?
If you don’t – don’t worry, one’s already been drafted for you! It’s called The Great Commission
Matthew 28:19 New International Version (NIV)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
When people ask me what I do, I sometimes tell them I’m a missionary. It’s true. If you are a Christian, you are a missionary. The only question is how good a job you are doing at it!
As we live our lives, we seem to be caught up in accumulating things. It’s because we are weak. We need others to affirm us, so we lavish ourselves with things like houses, cars, clothes, jewelry, etc. We set aside money for our retirement years because we are afraid. Afraid we’ll not be able to provide for ourselves and our families beyond our working years. It’s based on the notion that the sweat of our brow and our cunning plans are the foundation of our provision. We place our trust in the money lenders, stock markets, mutual funds, and financial planners. We need to be responsible good stewards, but placing too much faith in the secular markets is paramount to worshiping the spirit of mammon.
We’ve got it so wrong. We’re confused about the difference between who we are and what we do. It’s the difference between success and significance. You see, unlike corporations, each of us will have a funeral. What is going to be said? What will be your legacy? I have yet to attend a funeral and hear about how much money someone made and how many toys they bought. Nope, but I do hear a lot about how much they gave of themselves and their resources. How much they impacted others.
Let’s all go read that Great Commission again and refocus.
That’s what’s on my mind. I’m interested in your thoughts. There’s lots of ways to hit me up so let me hear from you.
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