Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mission is Not... So What Is It?

Mission is not self-defined, it’s discovered.

Mission is not self-determined, it’s revealed.

These words posted on my Facebook news feed this morning. And, they struck me because of their truth.

How often do we hear of people starting off in the direction of an idea, only to have it fizzle a short time later? Our ideas are not wrong, nor are they without merit. But the big picture vision of our mission is something that is revealed over time. It is the sum of our successes and failures that continue to direct our path until we find ourselves in the middle of what we were designed for all along.

Thinking About Mission

So, I’m wondering about my mission. How has it been revealed over time? How have my own self-defined routes fizzled yet brought me closer to God’s purpose for me?

First, I want to say that I don’t want to self-define anything. The image of spinning wheels and balancing spinning plates is not my idea of mission. 

Instead I envision my mission fitting like a glove on my tiny hand. No one but God can do that because I can’t even buy a pair of gloves that fit from the store. They are always too big. Because God is the One who made me, He knows what will fit me best. So, I want to trust Him for my mission and ask Him to help me to discover it.

Mission is About Discovery

The only thing I remember about growing up and talking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, was teaching. I used to play school. I loved chalk boards and chalk. As I grew that became more evident as I discovered ways to explain and illustrate things to others so they would understand.

One of my earliest memories of discovery and taking time to investigate happened when I was in the first grade. My mom got worried when I didn’t arrive home from school, so she gathered up my four siblings and our dog and started the trek to my school. She found me at the end of the street totally engrossed in a puzzling phenomenon. I was intent on watching a hydrant drip.

Now how that pools together into something called my mission, I am not sure I know yet. But these are the things that we can overlook when seeking who we are and discovering how God has wired us for His mission.

I do think God has wired me to teach. And, my writing journey has become like another section of the braid that defines who I am. When God pressed into my heart the desire to speak at retreats, a third strand completed the design. I do think God has allowed me to discover this mission as He has revealed it over the last twenty years.

Thinking back to the message I saw on my Facebook this morning, I think what I am looking for now is a further discovery of what is next. I know He will reveal the things that will be open doors of opportunity as well as doors that close to me for my good. 

My prayer is, Lord, Help me to listen so I know which way to go, what to do and not to do, so that I can follow YOUR path for me.

When you read these words on the white board, what did your think? I'd love for you to join the conversation about what mission is or isn't about.

On a Mission to Discover what my mission is,


Thank you to Roy Baldwin at Monadnock Bible Conference for his word today.
White board image courtesy of Roy Baldwin

Os Guinness has written a book on finding your purpose. Order a copy here:

All other Images courtesy of


  1. And with the discovery comes the excitement of being part of God's team!! Thanks for your words of encouragement today!

  2. Thank you for your comment, Beverly. Yes, we are His hands and feet here. Amen!!
    His ultimate mission is for us to follow Him. It is interesting to see how He equips each of us differently with gifts, talents and passions to touch our sphere of influence.
    I appreciate your input!

  3. It seems a mission requires action wherever I've been planted. It comes in all ways and all forms, helps me to grow, educates and humbles me, and keeps life from getting dull.

  4. All great observations, Tammy Sue. Thanks for sharing how mission impacts you. It's like the obedience brings about the vision and blessing


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