There is a distinct difference between mission and purpose. A mission statement defines WHAT one intends to do, while a purpose statement clarifies WHY they are doing it. This is critical for leaders to understand, because it is very difficult to intentionally rally people behind purpose. Motives and convictions are formed by journey, life experience, etc. It would certainly stymie the growth of an organization if it continually waited for everyone to have unified purpose. We believe that it is much more effective to establish a mission, uniting around a single charge while allowing team member motives to develop and mature along the way.
Jesus certainly led this way. He didn’t wait around for purposes to line up. Instead, he would find a guy standing on a boat, and say, “Come follow me.” Together, they would travel through the towns ministering to the hurting, feeding the hungry, and giving hope to the hopeless. As his disciples journeyed alongside him on this mission, they watched as he passionately lived by his purpose to “glorify his father in heaven”. Feeding someone was something they could immediately join in with. However, it took some time for the motive behind it to become “to the glory of God”. Jesus knew this, and therefore kept his expectations in line with where his disciples were on the journey.
As his disciples journeyed alongside him on this mission, they watched as he passionately lived by his purpose to “glorify his father in heaven”. Feeding someone was something they could immediately join in with.
Wise parents understand this as well. It would be silly to expect a toddler to live by the same convictions, philosophies, etc. that the parent has taken a lifetime to form. Instead, parents must gracefully walk with their children, allowing time for these convictions to grow. This takes a steady stream of mercy and patience from parents who desire to raise children of character.
At Betenbough Homes, our desire is to accept people just as they are, as long as there is a willingness to whole-heartedly join in our mission. Strategically, we must find a mission that most can join in with wherever they are in life, and then we must focus our energy on the execution of that mission. As we go, we will have an opportunity to impact others on our team and in our community by living passionately and consistently with purpose.