Winter is here and for many of us, thoughts of the Holidays are at the forefront of our minds. This is the season for family trips perhaps to see relatives and friends or maybe even some time for winter play. How likely is it that you will gas up the car, pile the kids in the back seat and just head out--destination unknown? You didn't pack, 'cause you're not sure of what you'll need. And though you don't know where you're going, you're making good time! Only a few minutes into the journey the familiar voice from the back seat questions, "Are we there yet?" Well, it's hard to tell since you're not sure what your destination is.
Where is your family heading? As you travel together on this journey called life, how do you want your family to travel and where do you want to end up? One very helpful tool is a family mission statement—think of it as your map. Just as a family gets together to plan a vacation, gather everyone around to record your family mission statement. As you talk about what you would like your family life to be, clarify the values and goals that are important to you. These will then become the guiding principles of your family relationships and the standards by which you make decisions and choose behaviors.
Here are some questions to ask when you think about your desired destination.
- What do you want your kids to remember about your family life?
- When people look at your family what would you want them to see?
- How does your family communicate—both in times of conflict and peace?
- What values do you place on your job, possessions, status, as they relate to your family?
- How will your children understand God's character as seen through your example?
A family mission statement is a starting point in the unfolding map of your family's journey. Not only does it create the basis for family interaction and a goal to which every family member can contribute, most importantly, it establishes the framework for family direction and decisions.
Your mission statement should reflect your family's personality, interests, and lifestyle. Here are two samples of family mission statements. Make yours as unique as your own family.
The Jones Family Mission Statement: The mission of our family is to create a nurturing place of ministry. We will first minister to the needs within our family, first between husband and wife and then to our children. We will cultivate a loving atmosphere where we can grow closer to each other and to God. As a family and individually, we will then minister to others as a reflection of our faith in Christ.
The Criswell Family Mission Statement: More than anything else, it is our desire that this family be built around God's plan, purpose, and desire for the family. We will reflect Him in everything we do.
- We will be a family of worship. Both formally and informally, at church and at home, worship will be a priority in our life.
- We will be a family of prayer. Together and individually, we will pray for and with each other, about everything.
- We will be a family of service. We will serve each other within our family, and we will serve each other in the world around us.