During my year as an intern at Gold Hill, I have been part of a training programme called ‘Growing Leaders’. I’ve mentioned it here before, and it has been very good indeed.
One thing we were encouraged to do (which I’ll admit I found a little daunting) was to work through a process to come up with a ‘Personal Life Statement’. This is like a mission statement for a church, company or organisation – only for an individual. Me. It is meant to help give direction for your life, to work out what priorities should be and when you should say ‘no’ to things because they aren’t where your focus should lie. Of course it will develop through life, and we’ve been encouraged to revisit it continually. I have found it extremely useful, and would encourage everyone to do something similar!
Where to start?!
In case you want to explore this for yourself, this is the process I went through to arrive at mine (I should add, the whole process should be doused in prayer):
- Reflect on your ‘SHAPE’, making notes at each step:
– Spiritual Gifts
– Heart’s Desire
- Ask yourself some searching questions:
– What 3 things would I like to achieve in the next 5 years?
– What opportunities would I like to have in my life?
– At the end of my life, what would I like to be remembered for?
- Akd other people who know you well to answer a simple question:
– “What should I do with my life?” (I found the answers to this part from the people I asked to be so enlightening and helpful!)
- Look over all the notes from this whole process, and pull together themes and recurring ideas.
- Formulate it into some kind of short paragraph.
- Continually revisit, re-evaluate and adjust throughout life.
For various parts of this (especially around ‘SHAPE’), I have some additional guides and material that is very useful – happy to put it your way if you’d like me to. I would strongly encourage you to explore this. I have found the end product useful in evaluating future direction and options, but I’ve found the process of putting it together just as – if not more – useful. Go on, it can’t hurt!!
My Personal Life Statement
“I want to know God deeply, have strong relationships with others, lead others authentically into real discipleship, teach truth powerfully and sensitively in a way that transforms hearts, minds and lives, and be wise in interpreting truth for present situations so that churches and individuals are able to live the gospel in ways that make sense today.”
Since I’ve packed a lot in, I also wrote some short notes to unpack the highlighted words:
Know God: I want to grow in ever-deepening, freeing and sacrificial relationship with Jesus, and to be a catalyst for others to do the same.
Strong relationships: I want to grow in good, honest and life-giving relationships with friends, family, those I am working alongside, and those I am serving.
Authentic leadership: I want to lead in my own way, having the integrity and boldness to do something new, not just copying others or settling for their traditions and structures, so that real discipleship can happen.
Transformational teaching: I want to be committed to wrestling with truth, and teaching in a way that challenges, encourages, empowers, envisions and actually changes people.
Interpretive wisdom: I want to interpret truth in ways that are relevant and life-giving now, driving the church and individuals to real and authentic worship, discipleship, community and mission.
So go on then, what’s yours going to be?!