A friend reminded me last night about my personal mission statement (attached). He's one of my oldest friends and in praying for me he recalled part of what I wrote back in the summer of 1993.
I was 24 years old, had not long graduated with a degree in theology and a post graduate certificate for teaching High School kids, and our first born Anna, was about 7 months along the way to arriving. I had also embarked on what would be a career in financial services for most of the next 10 years.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People came recommended to me that summer by a friend Steve Nicholson after my heavily pregnant wife and I visited his Church in Chicago to talk about Church planting.
Somewhere in conversations with Steve, I picked up that if I wanted to Church plant one day, and do that well, not to mention do well enough in my work to support us being bi-coational for planting, I would nee
d some organisational skills. So I selected Covey's 7 habits form a reading list Steve gave me, and spent a summer working through it.
It did change my life, and led to a mission statement that I still carry around at my office in the front a bible. I haven't reviewed it for a few years, and pulled it up on my computer today. It's interesting reviewing something I wrote nearly 20 years ago as I considered who and what God was calling me to do. As I read it I find so much of it has become who I am, and remained my understanding of what I thought God was calling me into.
I'm also aware it needs a 20 year review. For example 'ruthless pragmatism' needs to be softened somewhat considerably from my experiences of life. So this summer whilst on sabbatical I plan to review and update my mission statement as I consider the next 20 years of my life.
So 7 Habits remains one of the most influential books in my life. What are yours and why?