From the beginning of my life I have always been part of a family, most of us are fortunate to be able to say that. The first role I played was that of a daughter, sister, grand-daughter, niece and cousin. Then, I added the roles of wife, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law, etc. Finally, I became a mother to my children who now play all the same roles that I started out with in my life.
As a child, I know my parents had many unspoken goals and dreams for my life. They wanted me to be financially, spiritually, physically and emotionally stable. I, of course, want these same things for my children. Though I do not always communicate my wishes and desires for my children well, I believe they know in their hearts what their father and I desire for them.
In our family, when we depart from one another or enter any given situation together, we say, “You are a Brooke! Make the Brooke’s proud! God first, family second, everything else, third!” Though a bit unintentional, this has become the Brooke Family Mission Statement. This post is meant to challenge families to be intentional about thinking about their own family mission statement.
This declaration isn’t a guarantee of family success, but it will help you to look deep within your family and reinforce to yourselves and the outside world what your family holds dear. Declaring a family mission statement may seem intimidating. Many of us have probably assisted in creating a mission statement for our place of work, which can be a complicated process. I want to give you five easy steps to help make this process a fun and easy one for your family.
First, make a commitment to the process. This step isn’t to necessarily get words on paper, but instead it’s to commit to creating and living within the written goal. Second, take some time to identify key family values. This is the time when you consider, together as a family, what your family holds as important. This could be a variety of things from seeking God’s will in all things, to developing skills to live in society, to treating all people with kindness. This step could also be looked at as the brainstorming session. The third step is to take all those things your family holds dear into prayer and ask God for His direction. What is it that God is asking of your family? The fourth step is to consider the bigger picture. Each member of the family has different strengths, dreams and goals. Writing this statement can help each other to use those different gifts to help build that family identity you are seeking. Finally, once you have a developed mission statement, use it to help you explore how your family can minister to others together. The more you come to know about yourself and your family members the easier it will be to figure out how you can use the personalities of your family members to serve the rest of your family, your friends and your community.
After your family mission statement is developed you can re-examine it each year. So, for my family, as you recall, its: “You are a Brooke! Make the Brooke’s proud! God first, family second, everything else, third.” We take a close look at that each year and ponder: What is God calling us to do this year? What does He want us to do for each other? How about our extended family—friends, neighbors, our Church? And, most importantly we ask: When people think of our family, how do we want them to see us? When the outside world sees us, do they know that we put God first, each other second, and everything else third? That is our goal, we are not perfect, but we never give up. I challenge all of you to become families with purpose. What is important to you as a family; and, when others look at you, do they see what you hold most dear?