Three years ago we had a very clear and very broad mission statement at Dare 2 Share. It sounded cool. It was both phat and fat. Our mission was "energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith." We even developed KLSO shirts (Know, Live, Share,Own) that were pretty sweet.
That mission statement looked good on our ministry brochure and preached well to our donors. Youth leaders loved it. We could say that we existed to help them go both deep and wide because we were going to equip their teenagers in both deep discipleship and wide evangelism. Everything was lining up and our one page strategic plan was looking good and complete.
But then our chairman, Rick Montera, gave me a tough and blunt speech after looking over our newly minted plan at a board meeting. He said, "Greg, our mission statement is too big. We can't help teenagers know, live, share AND own their faith. We are not big enough to accomplish all of that! Those are four bull's eyes and we only have one arrow. So pick one of those four areas and focus on it. Come back to the board when you have the new mission statement done and we'll rebuild the ministry around that one thing."
Rick is a 6' 2" rough and tumble cowboy from Greeley, Colorado (and also a very godly man who is in tune with the Lord) so, after a bit of protesting, I just said, "Yes, sir."
Our leadership team was on it. We prayed, brainstormed, argued and wordsmithed and then did it again. After six months we had completed the newly crafted mission statement. It is, "mobilizing teenagers to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ."
Simple. Singular. Focused.
It reminds me of the conversation between Curly, the rugged cowboy, and Mitch the forty year old city boy looking for his purpose in life on a cattle drive.
Curly: "Do you know what the secret of life is? [points index finger skyward] This."
Mitch: "Your finger?"
Curly: "One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean @!X!"
Mitch: "But, what is the 'one thing?'"
Curly: [smiles and points his finger at Mitch] "That's what you have to find out."
Our one thing at Dare 2 Share is evangelism training. In our early years we understood that and embraced it wholeheartedly. Then something happened. We started growing and growing and, with good intent, started trying to fulfill more needs of the churches that we serve. Because we wanted to see churches grow deep as they went wide we sought to provide more discipleship training materials.
The focus of our training conferences expanded as well. We were dealing with issues from sexual purity to media to all sorts of discipleship issues. Of course, during this time we still always had evangelism training as a part of our conferences, but we had lost our singular focus.
All that changed when Rick (aka "Curly") talked with me (aka "Mitch") three years ago. Today we are all about the one thing. This realization has helped us to understand our place in the body of Christ. We are not all that (know, live, own) but we are this (share!)
Our singular focus helps us realize the importance of discipleship-oriented organizations out there who play an important role in youth ministry, providing Biblical and relevant discipleship curriculum to youth groups.
Someone once said, "Maturity is coming to the place where you started and knowing that place for the first time." Dare 2 Share started in 1991 as purely evangelism training and now, almost 20 years later, we have circled back to where we started. But we have come back to it with more maturity. We are more about the message than the methods and more about the principles than the programs. We are equal parts relational and relentless in our approach to evangelism.
It was humbling to discover that, as a ministry, we are not all that. But, it sure is exciting to discover that we are this.