Sunday, May 11, 2008

Developing A Family Mission Statement

Contrast what we value and what we plan for.

What we value, desire, hope for……. A study conducted by Columbia University and the National Institutes of Heath revealed that the thing Americans want more than anything else is to enjoy loving family relationships. This was chosen by 99% of survey respondents.

What we plan for, prepare for……. According to the George Barna Research organization, only one family in 25 has a plan for its family future – the rest just make it up as they go along.

Developing a Family Mission Statement

The definition of a Family Mission Statement is: a thought out, written down statement of intent and purpose for your family.

It’s purpose is to help you:

#1. identify the direction you are taking

#2plan your journey

#3 correct your course

Writing it down is not necessary, but is helpful

A. in the making process

B. in the application

C. in the revisitation

A family mission statement should be:

#1. Realistic – on the one hand, reach for high ideals and lofty goals, but BE realistic. This should be a practical dream – one that can be achieved.

#2. Personal – reflecting your family values, intent, character, goals. This should NOT be a copy of someone else’s statement.

#3. Measurable – so you can evaluate your progress and effectiveness.

#4. Christian – not necessarily in words but in concept. We are Christian – therefore our goals and plans should be Christian-oriented.

#5. Organic and flexible. It should have room for additions, subtractions, corrections. When the content is static (unchanging) it becomes stagnant. The point being, in order for future generations to embrace our family mission statement, it must be open to them to change it. This is NOT God’s Word. It CAN be changed if needed.

#6. Bigger than your family. Matt. 5:13-16 – “You are the salt of the earth. …… You are the light of the world…….let your light shine before men that they may ….praise your Father in heaven.”

Matt. 28:19 & 20 – “…go and make disciples of all nations,….and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Mission should be TO the family and it should be a mission OF the family. If a mission statement is ONLY about own family, it is way short of what a mission statement should be.

#7. Developed in light of Legacy. The idea is to:

A. affect future generations – so they are blessed

B. involve future generations – so they pass the blessing on

Suggestions for Developing a Family Mission Statement

#1. Think about it and pray about it.

#2. Discuss it. With spouse, kids, family circle. Guys tend to avoid this kind of thing. However, they should be leading and instating it.

#3. Start where you are. Still unmarried? Newlywed? Mid life? Late life? Widowed?

#4. Focus on content. Don’t worry about the words or the wording. First get down the concepts. Decide what you might want to include. As you continue to discuss and go over it, it will begin to come together.

#5. Take your time. This is a process. It will not come together in a few hours or days.

#6. Take it seriously.

#7. Keep revisiting it until it develops. Because it is a Process. It is a fabrication, meaning you build it, but it is like a discovery. It comes together slowly as you come to realize who you are as a family and what you’d like to accomplish and perpetuate.

#8. Keep revisiting it to measure the progress. How are you doing? Is it happening?

I Tim. 5:8 – “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever”

The context of this verse is talking about immediate physical and monetary needs.

But, the principle applies to spiritual needs. Are we concerned with the eternal state of our family and those outside our family?

Take some time, think about this. Do it!

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