Administration,  Life,  Personal

More than Words

Are you a talker or a walker?

Ok, so that isn’t quite the lingo. You have likely heard it said, “S/he can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk.”

So, are you a talker or a walker?

To this point in this blog series, we have created a VISION statement and a MISSION statement. But if you are going to live out your MISSION, you need a STRATEGY.

The STRATEGY is the difference between talking and walking. The MISSION is the WHAT, and the STRATEGY is the HOW. (Check last week’s post here for more information.)

As I mentioned last week, my STRATEGY is based upon an acrostic. The first letter of each part of my STRATEGY spells the word L-E-A-R-N. Although it is not necessary to use an mnemonic device, it can be quite helpful. For me, the idea helps me to remember that before I can teach (which is my passion), I must learn (and continue to learn).

As a reminder, my MISSION statement contains each of the 4Ls that are the basis for this overall ministry. Those L’s are to Love, Learn, Live, and Lead (in the order they appear in the statement).

Whatever your STRATEGY, the goal is to ensure the STRATEGY helps fulfill your MISSION. In other words, your HOW needs to match your WHAT.

Let me explain by showing how my statements fit together.


  • Love – God and others, beginning with my family. (Mark 12.29-31)
  • Exercise – discipline in my life – spiritually, bodily (diet/exercise), and financially. (1 Timothy 4.7-8)
  • Action – is the evidence of faith. (James 1.22)
  • Read – God’s Word and quality resources for continued personal growth. (Proverbs 1.5-6)
  • Nurture – others around me to find God’s purpose for their lives. (Ephesians 4.12-13)

If you compare my MISSION statement, the connections are mostly obvious. As I have shared earlier, my MISSION statement is:

I will love my Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ, submit to His authority in my life, and rely on His power to use my God-given abilities to serve others – beginning with my family (Phil. 2:3-4).  I will seek to grow in my knowledge and understanding of God’s truths, and His will for my life.  I will trust in His provision (Ps. 73.25-26).  I will externalize my faith by reaching out to others, teaching them God’s truths, and encouraging others to grow in their own relationship with Christ, so they may disciple others as well (Col. 1.28-29).

Obviously, the LOVE of the STRATEGY matches the LOVE of the MISSION very closely. The Exercise and the Action part of the STRATEGY related to the LIVE portion of the MISSION. The READ aligns with the LEARN part of the MISSION and the NURTURE is a part of externalizing my faith to teach and encourage others (which is the LEAD portion of the 4Ls).

As I have previously mentioned, this is my statement, not yours. I have developed this idea over many years although it has mostly been stable for a number of years. My goal in writing these posts is not to have you copy my SYSTEM, but to help you develop your own SYSTEM. In fact, that is part of the NURTURE in my STRATEGY.

You might ask, “Well, how do these posts fit the idea of fotonni?” That is a good question. The answer is that I believe if we are not intentional in how we choose to organize and live our lives, we will drift toward the pattern of the world. Fotonni is to be in the world, not of it (again, fotonni is in, not of spelled backwards), and to live within the culture, but counter to it, requires some planning on our part.

Thus, I have developed a SYSTEM to help me think through such issues and am now trying to help you do the same.

But, as I have also said, this approach can do more than help an individual. The same process can help an organization. An organization needs a VISION and a MISSION statement to help it achieve the VISION. Then, the organization needs a STRATEGY to help determine how to fulfill the MISSION. And finally, as we will see in a couple of weeks, a PROCESS is needed to help execute the STRATEGY. That PROCESS are the STEPS, and for me those STEPS are the 4Ls (with the 5th L included).

At the conclusion of last week’s post, I encouraged you to make sure you were keeping up with each part of developing your SYSTEM. By now, you may have your VISION and your MISSION in mind. You may still need to tweak it, but for now, it is important just to have something on paper (or on a screen) to help you begin to consider the details. Some may wish to consider their strengths first and think STRATEGY before developing the bigger ideas, but this approach is ultimately limiting. Those limitations will be the focus of next week’s post.

So, for now, make sure you have considered your VISION and your MISSION. Once that is done, consider the actions necessary to complete the MISSION you have chosen for yourself. If you want to get creative and develop a memory device, that’s fine. But the most important aspect is to first consider all (or most all) of HOW you will need to function to reach your overall objectives/goals.

Knowing the HOW is the first step of moving from a talker to a walker. So, once you have completed each of those items, you are very close to having a SYSTEM that can work for you. Once the full SYSTEM is in place, then the real challenge begins – living out the SYSTEM you have developed.

Living out your SYSTEM is when the talking truly becomes walking. Let’s get to walking soon.

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