A lot of successful corporations have mission statements. Many unsuccessful ones do as well. The difference? The corporations that are most successful are the ones that fashion a mission statement at the heart of the company. It’s not just something that the CEO or board of executives creates, but something that the employees take part in from the top to the bottom. When they have a part to play and have contributed their own ideas and passions, employees are more likely to take the mission to heart.
Likewise, when church members take part in the creation and curation of the local church’s mission and mission statement, they’re more likely to follow-through.
Like businesses and churches–successful and not–families can also be successful or floundering. You might wonder what an “unsuccessful” family might look like. I’m not one to judge, but I will say that my family has had successful periods and less than successful periods. We have had ups and downs. We have strayed far from what we thought and hoped our mission should be and then accidentally found our way back.
The goal of a mission statement is to begin with the end in mind.
The mission statement is a vision for your family. It’s where you see your family in the future. It may even be where you see yourself for eternity.
Creating Your Mission Statement
Whether you’re working on a personal, professional, or family mission statement, the process is the same. Stephen Covey, the author of the bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says that the trick to having a balanced mission statement is to “break it down into the specific role areas of your life and the goals you want to accomplish in each area.”
What roles make up your family?
There are different roles for the children in the family. They are probably students, siblings, possibly employees. There are roles for adults in the family. They are the breadwinners, caregivers, peacemakers, teachers, and leaders. Taking these roles into account, how can you fashion a mission statement that reflects all the unique abilities and roles in your family? What kind of future do you want for the family?
The Adventist Mission
Did you know the Seventh-day Adventist Church has a mission?
The mission of the global church is to “Make disciples of Jesus Christ who live as His loving witnesses and proclaim to all people the everlasting gospel of the Three Angels’ Messages in preparation for His soon return.”
Accompanying this mission is a method, which states, “Guided by the Bible and the Holy Spirit, Seventh-day Adventists pursue this mission through Christ-like living, communicating, discipling, teaching, healing, and serving.”
And finally, the mission is based on a vision of the future: “In harmony with Bible revelation, Seventh-day Adventists see as the climax of God’s plan the restoration of all His creation to full harmony with His perfect will and righteousness.” (Find out more about the Adventist mission HERE)
Is your family on a Jesus Mission? As parents, are you hoping to raise disciples?
What might your mission statement look like to reflect these values and to visualize this future?
The Mission at Work
When you have a mission for your family, and then you write it down, you have the opportunity to go back to it. You can display your Family Mission Statement in your home to reflect on regularly. You can weigh decisions against the vision you have and want for your family. Any big move or change is easier when you know it coincides with the mission you’ve chosen for your family.
What is your mission?
Take time this week to talk about this with your own family. Ask your pastor or elder if your local church has a mission statement. Does the company you work for have a mission statement? Your children’s school may even have a mission statement. Use these resources to help you determine your family mission statement.
Do it prayerfully, and do it together.