How to Create a Family Mission Statement.
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In the Garden of Eden, the enemy put a wedge between Adam and Eve causing one to blame the other. He separated this beautiful marriage in this beautiful place by twisting, ever so slightly, the words that God spoke to them. In the very next chapter of Genesis, we see the enemy now coming between brother and brother as Cain killed Abel.
Throughout Scriptures we see the enemies attack on the God-designed family unit, and not much has changed today. That is why it is more important than ever to establish a firm purpose for your family.
We talk about creating purpose statements at work, at school, on the job, in the classroom, and for our mental health. But what about a mission statement for the family? One in which every single member knows their part, what they are working for, and the importance of the unit that God assigned them. My husband and I recently wrote a Marriage Mission Statement. It was such a powerful exercise, that we realized we needed to do this as a family. We needed a family mission statement as well.
THE PURPOSE of a FAMILY MISSION STATEMENT.
The purpose of our family mission statement is to keep us focused. We wrote it to make sure we didn’t veer off course. The world is pulling at us left and right, trying desperately hard to snatch us into its web. Whenever we see each other pulling off of the path, our family mission statement is a visual reminder to get back on track.
When attitudes arise, as they often will, we go back to the Mission Statement. If we want to try something as a family that may not be beneficial, we go back to the Mission Statement. These Mission Statements have not only been an incredible tool for our marriage, but for our family as well.
HOW TO START.
We decided to plan one night to make our mission statement. We made it a family date night. The pizza was ordered, snacks were laid out in Asher’s Homeschool Classroom, and we excitedly began the work.
Make this a fun night for your family. However you enjoy hanging out together, do that! Just remove any distractions. TV, phones, tablets . . . Anything that pulls your attention off of the task of creating a Family Mission Statement.
It is important to pray together as a family. The Bible says in Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it . . .”. Be sure that the foundation of your mission statement is rooted in the word of God. Pray before you even begin.
Read the following Scriptures together as a family and answer the questions.
a. Psalm 127:1
1. What does this verse mean to our family?
2. How do we let the Lord build our house?
b. Exodus 20:12
1. What does the word HONOR mean?
2. How can we better honor our father and mother?
c. 1 Corinthians 13:13
1. What is the greatest thing we should have in our family?
2. List three ways we can show each other love every day.
3. ESTABLISH GUIDELINES.
Before you begin to draft your mission statement, establish some guidelines.
a. Everyone gets a say. Make sure that no one (not even you, Mom and Dad!) is monopolizing the conversation.
b. No poking fun. There is no making fun of anyone’s thoughts or suggestions. A family should be a safe place. There should be no fear that an answer will be the brunt of a joke.
c. Every Contribution Matters. Your six-year-old may say that Pizza is an essential part of their life. Your teenager may say that video-games should be a family priority. No matter how silly those answers are to you, they mean something to them. Listen to your kids. That doesn’t mean that pizza and video games should be the core of your family mission statement, it just means that every contribution matters and everyone deserves to have a voice.
For this next section, we went to our whiteboard and began jotting down thoughts and ideas. If you don’t have a whiteboard or large paper, plain paper will do just fine. You can also download the workbook at the end of this article for all of the questions and worksheets.
A. Our Purpose?
a. What kind of family do we want to be?
b. What are our goals as a family?
B. Our Home
a. What kind of home do you want to invite your friends?
b. What do you love most about our home?
c. What is your favorite space in our home and why?
C. Our Relationships
a. Go around the room and say one thing you love about each person. Everyone takes a turn.
b. Go around the room and say one thing you admire about each person. Everyone gets a turn.
c. How should we always strive to treat each other?
D. Our Strengths
a. What are the unique talents, gifts, and abilities of each family member? Go around the room and discuss how awesome each person is!
b. What is the responsibility of each member of the family?
E. Our Service
a. How can we serve our community better as a family?
b. What families inspire us and why do we admire them?
c. How do we want to be remembered?
5. OUR CORE VALUES
Now that you have a good foundation and (hopefully) each member of the family has contributed their thoughts, it’s time to list your core values. What do you hold dearest to you as a family? A core value is something that you fight for, strive for, and something you hold onto no matter what.
Each family member writes three core values on the whiteboard that are important. See if there are duplicates. Then each member vote on the three core values that are most important to you as a family; not as an individual.
For example, your firstborn may crave adventure, but the rest of the family loves quiet evenings at home. For your firstborn adventure may be a core value personally, but it isn’t for the family.
Here are some ideas for core values . . .
God and Faith
Creativity, Music, Art
6. NARROW IT DOWN.
By this time you have quite a list. Goals, values, Scriptures, strengths, relationship goals, etc. While we are tempted to include everything in our mission statement, we want to make sure we are creating an achievable purpose; something that is tangible.
In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, Stephen R. Covey said it this way.
“We put all the words on a big flip chart and gave everyone ten votes. They could use up to three votes per item if they wished, but they could not spend more than ten votes in total. After the vote, we were left with about ten items that were important to everyone.”
A list and a vote is an excellent democratic way to make sure that the most important things to you as a family are moved to the top.
7. WRITE YOUR MISSION STATEMENT.
KEEP IT SIMPLE and SHORT. That is the best advice I can give you. Keep your mission statement simple. List the ten things that you narrowed down and draft a simple statement that you and your family feel comfortable and confident following. Be sure that you are writing your purpose statement together and one family member isn’t bearing the brunt of the work.
8. MAKE IT VISUAL
Hang your mission statement where everyone can see. In the kitchen, by the front door, wherever it needs to be; make it visual.
9. RE-DO WHEN NECESSARY.
Life changes and the things that matter most to your family today may not matter as much a few years down the road. Revise this mission statement as needed. If you accomplish a major goal of this mission statement, or if you want to add something more to your mission, start at Step 1 and revise as needed.
Pray over your family mission statement that the Lord would guide each of you to live out your individual purpose to strengthen your family.
I hope this article has been helpful to you in creating a family mission statement. Being on the same page is vital to the strength of your family. Your time creating the mission statement should be one of joy, laughter, fun, and focus. I am praying that you and your families begin to live a life that you are proud of, a life full of laughter and love.
We would love to hear about your family date night in the comments below. Share your mission statement with us!