One of my favorite bloggers, Heath Mullikin, wrote about the “Tweetable Mission Statement” this week. It’s a great post that went through some of the steps on his journey toward making his mission statement, including some of the inspiration he got from Michael Hyatt. So you can go to Hyatt for inspriation, to Mullikin for explanation… but for a bit of application I’m going to show you how I took Heath’s words and applied them to my own life. “What?” you say, “But isn’t reading blogs just a waste of time where you’re surfing the internet aimlessly?” Um, no. I only carefully read people who are actually helping be become a better leader, and Heath is. Here’s how:
The first thing I did was go and pull up the text of my mission statement and copy and paste it into Twitter. I was discouraged because it was 62 characters too long. Bummer. I always thought I had a short and pithy mission statement… but it doesn’t get down to tweetable length. Here’s my mission statement that was 62 characters too long:[quote_simple]”I value most what multiplies the Kingdom of God exponentially: 1) developing leaders, 2) investing in the next generation, 3) communicating truth, 4) building teams, and 5) reproducing healthy churches.”[/quote_simple]
So, I set out to edit it down. You might consider this to be a bit arbitrary–aren’t some really amazing mission statements 175 characters, for instance? Well, perhaps. But I took this exercise seriously. When it comes to making statements memorable and portable shorter is better (ala Andy Stanley, not meaning that Andy is very portable, he is long and lanky and unable to fit in a pocket. However, he always says that [highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””]your statements and sermons should be memorable and portable[/highlight], and I dig that.)
A little background on making the mission statement in the first place: I first started crafting a mission statement back in the Church Planting days of my early ministry, right out of seminary. Steve Moore was the one who trained me to start thinking of my ministry with a “Life Map,” or at least the one who showed me how to do it. I could go on and on about how to do it (literally–I do a 7 hour seminar on lifemapping that is inspired mostly by Steve’s work). But in the end, my mission statement helps me do two things: 1)[highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””] to find one hook for why I do what I do[/highlight]… for me, that’s exponential multiplication. I don’t want to do things that don’t develop a life of their own after I’m done with them. I want to have a seminal impact at the front end–even when, and perhaps especially when, nobody knows I was involved. I want the potential for exponetiality to be there, for something to get out of my control shortly after I’m involved. And then my mission statement also 2) [highlight class=”highlight_yellow” style=””]makes sense of the fairly random things I’m passionate about[/highlight]. I never knew why I was so deeply committed to the 5 things in my mission statement, until I realized that they all have that exponentiality in them. They each are interconnected in the way they work once I’m done investing my time. So, my mission statement reminds me why I do them.
But, as Heath has showed me, it’s a bit long. And so I started to analyze where I could trim the fat. One problem is that my statement is a bit wordy in the “list part”… that function is not very memorable. There’s no cadence. I started to work on that. Also, I struggled long and hard on whether 5 is the list or 4. Particularly #2, which was about investing in the next generation. I realized that I mostly give to this activity via the first one, by developing leaders. I’m not the type to just randomly hang out with teenagers or college students to disciple them, it’s really about developing and discipling leaders for me. So I pulled that one from the list, moving it under the first in my mind. After some wordsmithing I now have the following:
The Mission Statement of David Drury:[quote_box author=”” profession=””]”Exponential Kingdom multiplication through developing leaders, communicating truth, building teams, & reproducing churches.”[/quote_box]
OK, get out your red pens… or let’s discuss each of the items I engage myself in, and why they are exponential and of value to me and the kingdom. What’s your take?