In the middle of the 17th century a bunch of people from England and Scotland developed the Westminster Shorter Catechism. For those of you who may not be aware, a catechism is a series of questions and answers developed to teach – for the Westminster guys it was to teach the basics of the Christian faith. Anyway, their first question was; “What is the chief end of man?” This is a great way to begin. Why do we exist? We are we here? Well, here is their answer:
“The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”
That is a great mission statement. A mission statement may be defined as a written declaration of purpose. So, here is our purpose – to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. It defines everything that we do. Are we students? We are students to the glory of God. Are we accountants or salespeople? We are accountants or salespeople to the glory of God. Are we mothers and fathers? We are mothers and fathers to the glory of God. Are we pastors, teachers or golf pros? We are pastors, teachers or golf pros to the glory of God.
It defines and gives purpose to everything that we do. The Apostle Paul wrote this in the 1st century to a church in the city of Corinth: “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
That is my mission statement. It just fits everything I can think of in my life. It helps me to keep track of the time I spend and what I spend it on. It helps me keep track of my relationships with others – as a father, husband, pastoral assistant, missionary, teacher, friend, uncle, brother, neighbor, co-worker… It is a mission statement that is so much bigger than me. It is a mission statement that moves me out of myself and towards the One who made me – who made me with a purpose.
Later this week I want to think of two other things. First, does God have a mission? If he does, what is it and how am I a part of it? And Second, what does it mean to enjoy God forever?