What Actions Do You Need to Take to Accomplish Your Mission?

If You Aren’t Clear on What You Should Do, Your Mission Will Fail

It’s week three of the BMSU’s Mission Statement course. The first week we worked on discovering and getting clear about the mission and the importance of having one if you are going to turn your dreams into reality.

From a young age we have dreams of what our life will be like when we grow up. You remember those big and exciting dreams that you had as a kid.

But, as we grow older those childhood dreams begin to get buried under the weight of daily adult living. Then we convince ourselves that those dreams weren’t real…they were just childish imagination.

Sometimes we get hit in the head with a board to remind us that they are real.

Dreams are the possibilities placed in us by God at the beginning of our lives.

The second week we researched what critical characteristics are needed in people to carry out a specific mission. Different people have different skills and abilities. These differences are what give us the exact strengths needed to carry out that mission.

I don’t have the skills and abilities to play professional sports. I’m much more suited to building.

As a child my dream was different than my life now, but the big picture dream is still the same. There’s a connection with that dream and today’s reality.

Our characteristics need to align with our mission.

This week’s focus is…critical actions. We can talk big, but it’s no good until we do. Thinking and planning are important, but until you do something…nothing is going to happen.

It’s easy and safe to plan and prepare. If we actually do something it might result in mistakes and disappointments.

Not doing…keeps us from our mission.

Accomplishing a mission requires action. Think about what “action” movies all have in common…ACTION. If there isn’t some action taken, the building is going to explode, or the girl is going to die, or the bad guys are going to win.

We can’t let that happen.

Critical actions need to be simple and understandable. They need to be specific, focused and habitual. They need to become second nature, done without thinking in reaction to varying situations.

As with my mission statement and key characteristics, my critical actions are always being tweaked and improved. Going through this week’s study, I made some changes to my critical actions.

If my mission is:

Bridge the gap between construction companies and customers. Construction companies struggle with a lack of business knowledge and customers don’t understand or know what to expect from the construction process. We help both achieve their dreams, by providing businesses with systems and training to make their companies more efficient and profitable while educating customers in what to expect throughout the entire construction process.

Then I need to take these critical actions to achieve that mission.

  • Make all we can, save all we can, give all we can: Vigilant focus on generating revenue, being frugal and sharing our blessings.

(With a Servant’s Heart, I tend to forget that we have to be profitable as a company to stay in business. This reminds me of that)

  • Communicate clearly: We design and implement business systems, giving construction companies and their customers the opportunity to understand each other, allowing both to build their dreams.

(Without clear and accurate communication no one knows what to expect. This is the number one problem that construction companies and customers deal with. We help them bridge that gap)

  • Spend time wisely: Using the limited amount of time we’ve been given each day to generate the best return for us and our customers.

(I tend to be a thinker and planner. This is to remind me of that and push me forward to prioritize, focus on the first next thing and take action)

A dream is where a mission starts. Action is what make it a reality.

DREAMS   →   VISIONS   →   GOALS   →   ACTIONS   →   RESULTS

ACTION…it’s the most important thing to accomplishing a mission!

Be Careful About Giving Over Control of Your Actions to Your Emotions

Think Before You Act

We’ve all been angry at someone and done things in the heat of the moment that we regretted later.

You’ve probably heard the hunting story told by Mickey Mantle. There are several different versions, here’s one.

Mickey Mantle and Billy Martin decided to go hunting on a farm owned by a doctor friend of Mantle’s. It was a long four-hour drive and when they got there, Mantle went to the door to get permission. When the friend came to the door Mantle asked if they could go hunting. The doctor said sure, anytime Mick!

As Mickey turned to walk away, the doctor asked, could you do a me a favor? Mickey said, what’s that? The doctor said he had this old horse that needed to be put down and he just hadn’t been able to bring himself to do it. Could you do it for me? Mickey said, I don’t want to shoot your horse. The farmer said, Please Mick. It would really help me. Mickey agreed, then thought of a joke to play on Billy.

He went back to the car and said, we just drove four hours and he said we couldn’t hunt. Mickey’s voice grew angry and loud. I’ll show him, I’m going to shoot his horse. Billy said, No Mickey. Don’t do that, we’ll get in trouble…maybe end up in jail. Mickey said, NO I’ll show him he can’t do this to us. Mickey took his rifle and headed to the barn and shot the horse. Just then Mickey heard three more shots and turned around to see Billy standing there with his gun. What are you doing asked Mikey? I shot three of his cows, said Billy.

Even though Mickey’s actions weren’t out of anger, they lead his friend to act. The friend’s anger at MIckey being mistreated lead to actions that weren’t productive or helpful.

We have to be careful. Our actions might lead others to do bad things.

Another example of letting our emotions have control of our actions is the farmer who found a mouse eating an ear of his corn. When he saw this, he began chasing the mouse. He found a stick and began swinging. The mouse jumped and ran from stalk to stalk. The farmer swung and stomped and chased. When it was all over the farmer looked up and there was a half-acre of broken and flatten corn stalks.

The mouse eating the corn was not a good thing for the farmer but…

Letting his emotions control his actions did not turn out so well either!

As are all emotions, anger is from God. We are after all made in His image. The Bible is full of examples of God being angry with people that were doing things that they weren’t supposed to. One such example is in John 2:13-21, when Jesus ran the moneychangers from the Temple.

Anger can be a driving force for good, if the way we handle it aligns with God’s plans. It’s good when we get angry about someone doing something wrong. We need to have the courage to stand up against evil.

Pastor Lee told a story about a man who saw a report on the news about a plane crash caused by ice on the wings. This man was angry and being an engineer, invented a system for deicing planes.

This is the kind of angry we should be. The kind that pushes us to do something beneficial and purposeful.

Anger is a gift from God…use it wisely!

Our Small Actions Can Have Big Impacts

It’s Important to Remember This, Always

As we’re busily trying to navigate through our own lives, we rarely think about the impact we have in other people’s. Most of the time we never even know what effect we have on those around us. These small seemingly insignificant influences can be life altering.

This past Sunday Pastor Lee had some people share their faith journey with the congregation. Some grew up in this church, others became a part of our church family more recently. Some got to know Christ later in life, some have had a long-term relationship with Him.

One thing that was consistent in all these stories was the importance of outside influences, both good and bad.

We never know what word said or action taken will impact those around us. What we do know is that we have control of what we say and do. When our focus is inward, we’re more likely to have a negative influence on others.

Another thing that was consistent in these stories was the small actions that had big results. There were no huge dramatic life altering situations, just small acts of caring.

Small actions can have big impacts!

Most of us see the things we do as unworthy or unimportant. All we need to do is open our eyes to see that this is not true. What we see as small and irrelevant can be the thing that changes someone’s life, for good or bad.

We see our stories as nothing special, but after hearing these people share their stories it’s clear that this isn’t true.

Think about the effects on those around you before you act.

Every Action or Lack of One Affects Your Reputation

…and you have complete control over your actions

Your reputation is the overall quality or character as seen or judged by others. It can be either good or bad. One’s character can be misperceived by false statements and hearsay. It is important to be careful about what you believe when it comes to other people’s reputation.

How we perceive ourselves is different than how outsiders see us.

In Genesis 6 God decides to clean the world with a flood, because people had become so evil and corrupt. The people living at that time had a completely different perception of their reputation than God did.

God told Noah to build the Ark to save the animals and his family. You can imagine what Noah’s reputation was like to his neighbors.

God asked Noah to build the Ark and he did.

Noah was less concerned about what other people thought than what God thought. This one man was clear about his purpose. He knew what he was supposed to do, and he did it.

Too often we let other people’s opinions keep us from doing the thing we’re meant to do.

God used this one man to change the world…literally. He will do the same thing with you if you’ll let Him.

If you take the actions God wants you to…you’ll have the reputation you need where it matters most.

We Need to Be Intentional About This –

Who We Are and What We Do

We may never know what affect we have on those we encounter…good or bad. This is why it is so important to be aware and intentional about our actions.

There’s been a lot of love going around our church over the past couple of weeks. With October being Pastor Appreciation Month, there’s been many messages of thanks going in Pastor Lee’s direction. Simultaneously Pastor Lee has been sharing his appreciation of the congregation and the impact we have on each other.

This past Sunday he shared a letter written by one of the members of the church, sharing her story and the affect others in the church had on her life. More times than not, we have no idea of the impact we have on others.

We need to remember that every action has consequences…good or bad.

In Ephesians 2:8-10 we are told, “In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.” This sounds pretty clear to me. God intends for us to do good, but we get to decide if we will do it or not.

We have control over our actions. We can choose what we will do and how we will do it. This starts with figuring out who God meant us to be. Then being intentional about living in that direction.

I think more time is wasted through drifting than anything else.

Intentional action and awareness of those actions are topics that have been prevalent in my thoughts lately as well as historically. As is evident with these previous posts: (links)

Everything we do affects not only ourselves but those around us. Choices can have huge consequences. Think about how your actions affect others.

We can’t control everything, but we can control ourselves.

Live your life intentionally in the way God intended.

Be More Like the First Son

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

In Matthew 21:28-32 is a story about a man and his two sons. The man said to his sons, “Go work in my vineyards”. The first son said he wouldn’t go, but then later he changed his mind and went. The second son said he would go, but never did.

Which of these sons obeyed his father?

I would say that neither really did. It is evident that the son that actually went to the vineyard was at least honoring his father’s wishes. In the second part of the story, verses 31-32, Jesus makes a point about our eternal life.

I think this story is also important for the here and now.

Saying one thing and then doing something else is way too common. Sometimes it can be a simple misunderstanding, but more times than not it’s simply lying. We say things that people want to hear rather than the truth.

Not telling lies is one of the Ten Commandments, not to mention several other Scriptures expressing how God feels about lying. When we say one thing and then do something else, it’s a lie.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

This is especially hard for people with a servant’s heart. We want to do everything we can for everyone. Saying no is one of the hardest things there is to do.

Trying to do everything for everyone leads to doing less things well for fewer people. Trying to do more than you have time for will lead to corner cutting and poor quality.

Both sons in this story lied to their father. Who knows why neither one just said what they meant.  The first son’s actions at least spoke louder than his words. So, if you’re going to do one or the other…

Be more like the first son.

How Do I Even Know Where There Is?

By Listening to the Still Small Voice That’s in Your Heart

We’re all looking for a road map to our destiny. We want a crystal-clear plan laid out so that we know what to expect around each and every turn. Life doesn’t work that way.

One certainty is…life is uncertain.

This isn’t what we want to hear. We want all the answers before we start the journey. So…if there is no certainty, why do we bother trying to figure out our destination? How do we know which direction to start? If we let it, this uncertainty causes us to stay where we are and not move.

If you don’t move you will never get any closer to your destination.

Last week’s solution was about getting from here to there. It compared a Global Positioning System to life’s GPS, a Goal Prioritization System. This system will help you to determine what your destination is and the steps to take to get there.

This system consists of four parts.

DREAMS      VISIONS      GOALS      ACTIONS

Knowing where your ‘there’ (destination or purpose) is starts with your dream. This consists of thoughts, ideas, images, sensations, emotions, that occur involuntarily in your subconscious. They are a part of you that comes from someplace outside of you. This is God’s way of communicating your ‘there’ (destination or purpose) to you.

In 1 Kings 19, Elijah was feeling overwhelmed and alone in his task. He was sure he had been doing ‘the thing’ he was called to do, but things didn’t seem to be going as planned. God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice and reassured him that he was headed in the right direction.

God is speaking to us. It may be a small inaudible voice, or it may be a smack in the head. We make the destination search more complicated than it is. We tend to over-think this process. The important thing is to listen and to hear what He says.

We need to do more than just listen with our ears we need to hear with our hearts.

How do we hear with our hearts? We take inventory of who we are by asking some questions.

  • What things am I good at? Skills that come naturally to me.
  • What things do I love to do? Things that I must force myself to take breaks from doing and would do for free.
  • What situations and life lessons have I learned? My unique experiences and situations are unique to me.
  • Different personalities work better in different vocations. What things fit with my personality?

These are examples of questions to ask ourselves. After answering these and similar ones we will know our destination. When we feel our destination, it is an amazing thing.

Now that I know where my ‘THERE’ is…. how do I get there?

At this point the destination is determined, but still a little fuzzy. How do we put an address to it so we can enter it into life’s GPS? This is done by turning that dream into a vision.

Next week we’ll turn the dream into a vision and give it an address.

This Is the Best Tired I’ve Ever Been

 

Being Exhausted Is Great If You Can See Positive Results

 

Being worn out at the end of a day of hard work is very rewarding. I’ve experienced this feeling after doing construction, working on mission trips, developing business systems, or writing blog posts. We’re made to experience this sense of exhausted exhilaration after an accomplishment.

 

Working through pain and fatigue to accomplish a goal is a superpower.


What we need to remember is where our superpowers come from. Corrie ten Boom uses a story about a woodpecker to make this point. “A woodpecker pecked the trunk of a tree, like they do. At that very moment lightning struck the tree and destroyed it, and the woodpecker flew away saying, ‘I didn’t know that there was so much power in my beak.’ I ask you, do you have the Holy Spirit, or does the Holy Spirit have you?”

 

 

Just like the woodpecker, we can do great things. But when lighting strikes, we need to remember Who split the tree.


Having superpowers doesn’t mean that every great thing we do has to be big. God can take the small things and use them for great. Pastor Lee told a story about a teenage girl who had grown up in a bad situation. After having tried to commit suicide she was meeting with a pastor. While sitting in the pastor’s office she saw the church’s youth pastor and his new wife holding hands and walking to their car. When they got there, he opened the door for her. The teenager said to the pastor, “That’s the kind of family I want.”


The actions of this young couple was a form of superpower and they weren’t aware it was being used, but it was. The small actions that had a big impact. We have the same kind of opportunities to use our superpowers every day, but it does no one any good if we don’t use them.


Actions speak louder than words.


There was a group of college students that grew up…shall we say spoiled. They hadn’t been expected to work any up to this point. While at college they signed to go on a mission trip without really knowing how hard and physical it would be. After returning from the trip while walking across the parking lot to their cars one of them said, “This is the best tired I’ve ever been.”


If you haven’t used your superpowers lately don’t let them go to waste.

 

We Won’t Have Transfiguration Without Transformation

Actions Lead to Results

Most of us are aware of the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration, Luke 9:28-36, where Peter, James and John went up on a mountain with Jesus.  While Jesus was praying the disciples fell asleep. (They seemed to do this often while Jesus was praying.) When they woke up, they saw a transfigured Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah. Peter was so enamored by what he witnessed that once again his humanity took over and he blurted out something before thinking.

We are all so much like Peter and the other disciples. We sleep through important things going on around us. We get so worn down with our everyday lives that we miss out on the miracles. Or we open our mouths and say things without thinking through it before we say it.

Most of us have had a mountain top experience. We wish they would last, but they don’t. Life isn’t just the mountain top, it’s also the valleys. We see the transfigured Jesus in His glory and want some of that. The problem is that it’s not that easy.

Being transfigured starts with transformation. The definition of transfiguration, in Dictionary by Farlex, “is a marked change in form or appearance. A change that glorifies or exalts.” Transformation on the other hand is “the act, process or operation of changing”, according to the Meriam-Webster dictionary.

Transformation is something that we can choose to do. Transfiguration is a result of choosing to be transformed.

We need to see Jesus for who he really is and ourselves for who we’re meant to be.