When we speak about intentional parenting to various parent and moms groups, a question we often hear is: How do we write a family mission statement, and why is it important?
Most parents have aspirations for their children. We have spiritual, emotional, financial, relational goals for their kids, but they are often times left unspoken.
The problem is, when goals aren’t articulated, they rarely actually happen.
When you write a family mission statement, you are committing to your goals and hopes for your family. You’re putting them on paper and displaying them where you can refer to them often.
We achieve goals at a significantly higher rate when they are written down and consistently reviewed.
Do you have goals for your family? Values and desired behavior? They are more likely to happen when you write a family mission statement.
Step 1: What is your family’s purpose?
God created your specific family for a reason.
What is it?
When our kids fight (yes, they do!) we sometimes have to pull one of them aside and say, “Listen, God knew what He was doing when He made you siblings. It wasn’t by accident. God picked you to be a brother to your siblings for a purpose, and you have the ability to figure it out.”
What is your family’s purpose? Why did God put your exact combination of personalities, strengths, and weaknesses together? What makes your family unique?
What are you created to accomplish as a family?
Step 2: What are your family values and desired character traits?
If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there?
We need to start by planting the flag at our end goal. What values do we want to live out as a family? Which character traits do we want each of us to exemplify?
Ultimately, what’s most important to our family? That’s the main focus of our mission.
For us, the easiest way to determine our end goal was to going through the process of creating our family culture. We spent time, as parents, discussing what values, character traits, skills, and experiences we wanted our kids to have as a part of our family.
Then, we talked through each value, trait, skill, and experience and developed a strategy to make them actually happen.
Imagine that: a game plan to increase the odds that our kids will leave our house someday with everything we’ve hoped for them. It’s not guaranteed, but we know we’re intentionally doing what we can to make it happen.
Great news! We’ve designed this process into the Creating Your Family Culture Step-by-Step Guide, so you can develop your own strategy that works for your family.
If you just want Step One of the Guide, which walks you through determining your family values, you can get that free here.
Work to narrow down your list to 5 family values and 5 character traits to use as you write your family mission statement. What words best describe your family? What’s the atmosphere of your home?
Now, boil your list down to the 5-6 main values & traits that are applicable to everyone in your family. It’s hard to narrow down, but it’s important to focus on a few that you can remember.
After all, what good is a family mission statement if you don’t remember it?
3. How will we accomplish our family mission statement?
How will you support, love, and honor each other? What steps will you take to live out your values?
How will your family’s purpose be accomplished through God, each other, your friends, community, and the world?
What actions steps can you consistently weave into the fabric of your family in order to fulfill your family’s purpose?
What would your family look like if you live each day in the center of your mission?
4. Write it down, display it clearly, and adjust if necessary.
Congratulations: You’re ready to write a family mission statement!
Take all the pieces you’ve already determined and craft it into a cohesive mission statement. You can be as straightforward or as creative as you’d like! After all, this is your family mission statement.
If you’re looking for a specific structure, a simple one looks like this:
You can fill in the blanks:
Now that you’ve invested the time and energy to write a family mission statement, display it prominently so everyone in your family can refer to it. Put it on the fridge, review it during family devotions, at dinner, or in the car.
You might find your mission statement needs adjustments as life changes or kids get older. That’s okay! The process itself is just as important as the end product, so it’s good to revisit your family mission statement periodically.
5. Make decisions based on your family mission statement.
The whole point of writing a family mission statement is to help you determine your priorities, right?
After all, when a mission is clearly defined it’s also clear to determine whether we’re acting within our mission or not.
Therefore, before we make decisions on new courses in life, new opportunities, new activities, we ask: Does this line up with our family’s mission? Will this new activity distract from our family’s purpose? Do our schedules and habits align with our mission statement?
Now that we’ve made intentional choices about who we are as a family, certain decisions become really easy to make. They’re no-brainers, because choices either align with our vision or they don’t.