What is the purpose of your family? In business and workplaces there are clear mission statements. That way everyone in the organization knows their overall purpose. Does your family have a mission statement? Do you have a well thought out plan of your family purpose that each member of the family could express?
Think of it this way. If you were building your house you would use a building plan right? You wouldn’t just keep those plans to yourself. You would share it with everyone who is involved in the building of your home. For example, if your plumber and the person building your kitchen cabinets don’t have the same plans you are going to have some problems; especially if they decide to work from their own individual sets of plans without regard for the rest of the other people working on the same home. Everyone needs the same plans to get to the same end result. A building plan is much like a purpose statement or mission statement plan for your family.
We recently developed a mission statement for our family. I listened to the hour long mini book by Stephen Covey about mission statement planning for the family. It was extremely useful! I highly recommend you download this audible book.
Stephen Covey discusses family mission statement planning in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families.” It is a great book for all families and another resource I recommend for family mission statement planning.
We began our mission statement planning by sitting down as a family. You can do the same thing too. I called a family meeting and we sat down at the kitchen table together. I only had to ask one question and the kids started brainstorming answers. The question to ask is “what is the purpose of our family?” I was surprised to get such good answers from my kids ages 4, 4, and 6. They said things like “to love each other” and “to worship God.” They threw in some funny ones too, such as “to eat ice cream together” and “to share candy.” Thank you Alex for those. I think he may have been hungry when we had our family meeting.
Had I known I was going to share them here I probably would have used nicer hand writing. I wanted to share regardless of my mess, because you get to see what our family came up with at our family meeting. The overall discussion was only about 15 minutes. My kids have short attention spans. However, I was proud that they came up with thoughtful responses during our family meeting.
It is important that all family members in the household participate in the meeting and bring ideas to the table. If the parents create the mission statement and just give it to their kids they won’t feel like they are a part of the process. In making everyone a part of the process they take personal ownership and stock in the family mission statement that is created. A family mission statement is also useful even if you don’t have children. It is a useful tool to create as a couple. That way you have a mission and purpose that you embrace together.
After the family meeting, Justin and I developed a top ten list based on the information the kids provided and our own opinions. Stephen Covey also chose 10 for his personal family mission statement. You can do whatever is best for your family. Maybe you have only 3 items. Chose what works best for your family. The mission statement, because it is a series of statements could also be called a “family vision” or “statements of purpose.” I am sharing ours as an example for you.
Below are some additional examples I found on Pinterest.
I selected verses to go along with each of the 10 points in our mission statement. I will share those in another blog posting.
Once you have developed your mission statement you want to post them in your home. They should be in a visible place as a reminder to everyone in the family of the mission statement you all created together. I will share more about this in Part 2 of “Mission Statement Planning.” More to come soon!