How to Write a Family Mission Statement


How to Write a Christian Family Mission Statement
by Carl Caton

If you're pursuing the idea of writing a family mission statement, then I don't need to tell you about the power and benefits of such an endeavor. One of the best resources in guiding you through this process is found in "Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind", page 70, of the bestselling book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families." Covering more than forty pages, author Stephen Covey gives you everything you need to know about this powerful idea.

If you've struggled with this effort like I have, you keenly understand that the process of writing a family mission statement can be overwhelming. The scope of work involved in this effort, while worthwhile, is surprisingly more challenging than people envision. I led a group of twenty men through a study on this topic and only one family was able to produce something meaningful.

After wrestling with this issue for six months, I discovered a method I think is far easier in getting things jump-started. Here's what we did:

I waited for our schedule to settled down for a weekend and set aside an hour when we were not pressed for time. I shared with the family that we were going to do a round table discussion on the topic of the "Christ- Centered Family". I began by asking my wife and kids, "What does a Christ-Centered Family look like?" At first, I asked that we not discuss our own family. I just wanted to know what they pictured in their mind when I said the words, "Christ-Centered Family." It was a little slow getting started but I was patient and tried not to fill in the gaps of silence. We might sit for a minute or two as we pondered various thoughts. But gradually the thoughts began to roll. One by one, we began to describe the attributes that we discovered. Many of our ideas were predictable like, "A Christ-Centered family prays together, is knowledgeable of the scriptures, and has a servant's heart." And then there were some interesting comments like, "They have feelings of safety and openness." Before we were finished, we had about forty good attributes listed.

Next, we took some time to begin to think of families we knew that exhibited these attributes. The purpose of this was to expand and add color to the mental image we were creating. We talked about a family that had good communication. We described another family who often had casual conversations about faith in their daily routine. This second step helped us communicate the attributes we saw by recalling these positive behaviors in families we knew.

Our third and most powerful step involved asking ourselves some difficult questions like, "Which of these attributes do we need to improve upon? - as well as - Where are we doing a good job?" As you can imagine, these questions opened up a wealth of topics that we can continue to discuss in the future. Best of all, it "jump-started" the process and got us rolling.

Finally, we needed to refer to the bible for wise counsel. We added some key scripture verses like Proverbs 29:18, 1 Kings 2:1-4, and Joshua 25:15b. 

These positive and powerful images we're cultivating in our minds can serve as a catalyst to ignite energy in our family, and hopefully, create an ongoing dialog that will continue to produce strong visual goals for us to aim for. 

More articles:

How to Write a Family Mission Statement
by Christine Louise Hohlbaum
Setting goals can give our lives meaning. In fact, without a plan our lives seem to have no direction, and we often get frustrated. Imagine taking a trip without a road map. You would most likely get lost. Knowing where you are going and how to get there almost guarantees your success. <more...>


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How to Write a Christian Family Mission Statement


How to Write a Christian Family Mission Statement