A few years back, our church went through a rebranding of sorts. I (Daniel) helped lead our pastor and team in developing a new mission/vision statement, along with core values. It was such a unifying thing for our entire church, especially our staff. However, I realized something through the process. Many of us give 40 + hours a week to fulfilling the mission and vision for a company, but when we come home, we have no purpose or vision for the most important thing in our lives…our family. Why is this? Do we believe that if we simply shoot arrows into the air, they will magically hit a target? I had hopes and dreams for my family and my marriage, but I had no road map as to how to get there. I put in on the back burner but did nothing about it. Then this past year, God brought it back to the forefront of my heart, and I felt convicted. My family needed a mission and vision!
As I learned with my church staff, the process is just as important as the outcome. So, I borrowed a whiteboard from the church, Bonnie made a really yummy pumpkin dessert, and we made a weekend out of it. With the kids “leading the way,” I guided them through a time of scripture, reading and discussing what our family is all about. We began a brainstorming process to uncover what God’s mission for our family was. Because our kids are so young (8 and 10), we decided that this might take a few sessions, and it did. We worked for about an hour on Friday night, then took a break for some dessert and a movie. The next morning I made some pancakes for breakfast, and the kids were excited to get back at it. With the brainstorming part finished, we continued the process of narrowing down the list and then “wordsmithing” our mission statement and core values. This part took another hour or so. We tried really hard to make it fun and engaging for them. If they got distracted, we took a break. In the end, we came up with a mission statement and a list of core values that will serve as a guide for our family.
Our mission statement is:
“Our family exists to love God, enjoy life together, work hard, and show the love of God.
Our core values are:
Love the Lord your God with all our hearts, souls, mind, and strength.
Family comes first.
Love others, serve others, and tell them about Jesus.
Be kind to everyone.
Have fun. Be adventurous.
I can’t tell you how many times we have come back to this mission and core values. When we have a decision to make, or if we misbehave, or forget why we’re playing baseball, we simply come back to this list. It reminds us of why God put us together and the mission He has for us.
Maybe you have already developed something similar for your own family. If not, we’d love to challenge you and your spouse to spend some time praying together about going through the process of developing a mission for your family. One great place to start is by remembering the call that Jesus gave all of us as Christians. After His resurrection and right before he ascended back to Heaven, He challenged us in Matthew 28:19-20 with these words. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
God has brought you together as husband and wife and built your family with the purpose of drawing other people to Himself. When you’re working on your family mission statement take a look at where God has placed you and evaluate how you can be a light to your world. Is your “world” your neighborhood, your workplace, your hobbies, or your children’s activities? You are where you are for a reason. Once you’ve put a target on the wall, work as a family to align your activities in a way that you are moving toward your common mission. You’ll be amazed at how it unifies and strengthens both your family and your marriage!
Enjoying the Adventure,
Daniel & Bonnie