most teens meander through their high-school career, passively following plans laid out for them by others, this doesn’t
have to happen to you. Even before you’re an official “adult,” you can start making adult decisions about your future
Start with a mission statement!
Churches have mission statements. Businesses have mission statements. Military outfits have mission statements. And so can you!
Let’s Get Started!
Where do you start getting ideas for your mission statement? Think about what you’d like to do for your vocation—your life’s calling.
What Experts Say
Theologian Frederick Buechner says, “Vocation (mission) is where our greatest passion meets the world’s greatest need.”
Author Richard Nelson Bolles expands on this idea in his perennial best-seller What Color is Your Parachute? by stating
that your mission in this life is:
a) To exercise that Talent that you particularly came to Earth to use—your greatest gift, which you most delight to use,
b) in the place(s) or setting(s) that God has caused to appeal to you the most,
c) and for those purposes that God most needs to have done in the world.”
Here’s how to start thinking about your mission statement. What are you passionate about? What are your talents? Have
you ever imagined yourself working for a period of time on making the world a better place? You may want to take a
personal inventory informally or formally before writing down a simple one- or two-sentence mission statement. Consider
idea starters like:
- My greatest passion is to . . .
- I have always wanted to . . .
- My greatest abilities are . . .
- The kinds of things I am least interested in are . . .
- My greatest weaknesses are . . .
- What does the world needs that could be met by my passion . . .
- My favorite hero/heroine is . . .
While getting started, it also helps to talk to people you trust who know you well enough to reflect about the
questions. To formalize the process, use one or more of the resources listed at the end of this article.
What Color is Your Parachute for Teens, 2nd Edition, by Carol Christen and Richard N. Bolles,
TenSpeedPress.com. Adapts Mr. Bolles’ bestselling manual for job hunters and career changers for teens.
The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life by Os Guiness,
ThomasNelson.com. Written in narrative style with great stories to inspire you to seek out and fulfill your calling or your mission in life.
Career Direct Assessment, CareerDirectOnline.org. This online assessment of personality, skills and abilities, interests
and life values will provide you with over 30 pages of personalized results to help you understand or confirm your mission in life.
Kolbe Assessment, Kolbe.com. This online assessment is very different from Career Direct and will help you understand how to define,
assess and leverage your basic instincts for life and work.
Then in a sentence or two seek to match your passion with the world’s need. This becomes your mission statement.
Following are some real mission statements written by teenage students I have worked with after hearing a presentation
that expands on the ideas in this article. I hope these samples help inspire you to write your own mission statement.
Please view your mission statement as a revisable work in progress.
Real Mission Statements from Teens
My mission is to make amazing music that will make people happy or think, and bring glory to God. —Tucker
My mission is to help people stay in shape through exercise and physical activity. —Emily
My mission is to study Geophysics and help to start a massive reform of the scientific society.
Perhaps even show that bringing Christ into the equation could better explain previously unexplainable events. —Matt
My mission is to further the truth and further the love of God to young people through
writing especially to Italy and Russia, but hopefully to the youth of the entire world. —Rachel
Relax and see what you come up with.
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