I get lost in my own neighborhood. I have no sense of direction. Worse, I have too much pride to ask. Someone told me that this was the curse on man and I got an extra handout. It makes me wonder if the real reason God made Eve was to help poor Adam find his way back from the garden. Navigation was never my niche.
When it comes to family, a sense of direction is critical. “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,” says the psalmist, “are the children of one’s youth” (Ps. 127:4). I love this verse. It is a compelling reminder of the need for family mission. Pointing our little arrows in the right direction and launching them with the proper thrust and precise aim toward their target is no simple task. But it can be done.
It begins with the formation of the arrows—the shaping of the shaft, the sharpening of the head, the binding of the fletching, and the fastening of the nock. Before an arrow is ever propelled, it is uniquely formed. But formed for what? Arrows are shaped, sharpened, bound, and fastened for a target. Having a sense of direction is key.
To this end, we decided to form a family mission statement. It was nothing too complicated or profound. It did, however, capture the bullseye and steez of our household. Both of which were fundamental to the trajectory of our household. This is what it says:
Our statement tells us a number of things about our target. First, we aim to glorify God. Second, we do this by worshiping Him, trusting Him, and declaring Him. Third, we do these three things creatively, completely, and consistently. Finally, it is full of heart, full of life, and full of breath. The statement is wonderfully designed and hangs in our kitchen near the table—our place of daily family worship.
Here are 10 reasons why having a family mission statement is a good idea for you.
It gives purpose. Your family is made up of people who need meaning in life. They need to know why they exist, and why in the family. A family mission statement can answer the question of family purpose and grounds for living.
It brings focus. The purpose for family life needs a good sense of clarity. A family mission statement can blow away foggy ideas introduced by the world’s wisdom and bring lucidity and definition to your family.
It sets expectations. Your household can celebrate family victories when they are noticeably evident. With a family mission statement, your family will know what is expected of all members since all members contribute to the bigger unit.
It creates accountability. Like the clock on the wall is a constant reminder of timing, so the family mission statement is a constant reminder of our family’s charge. This is also true of those in the house who bear its image. They are living reminders.
It shapes goals. As each family member seeks to fulfill the mission individually, they will inherently set objectives to accomplish. A family mission statement will help them with their goal setting. It will shape their plans and ambitions.
It builds community. A family should be like a team of athletes competing for the same end. Victory is one when each member unites under one cause. A family mission statement binds the members together and builds community.
It fashions ideas. As believers, we are to take all our thoughts captive for the purpose of biblical assessment. A family mission statement will equip your children to fashion ideas that align with the mission of the family and ultimately, the mission of God.
It sparks creativity. Young children are full of creative energies. They only need a challenge to light the fire under their artistry. A well-defined family mission statement works as a huge call to imaginative action.
It models stewardship. It may not be obvious to them at first, but a family mission statement teaches godly stewardship of time, talent, and treasure. It subtly, even indirectly, trains them to order and manage what the Lord has given them for His glory.
It forms identity. They say that purpose is tied to identity. It is a reciprocating relationship. Why we do what we do forms who we are. If you carefully attend your family to a godly end, they will identify themselves as godly people—shot from the bow of Christ to the glory of God.
Ever heard of the man who flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions? Christian parents, don’t let this be you. Your family depends on it. Your church depends on it. Your community depends on it. Most importantly, God demands that we lead our family to the glory of God, having a mission statement might help you do it well.