Years ago, I wrote grants and proposals for my non-profit organization and the most often asked questions were–What is your vision? What are you objectives? What is your plan of action?
Thanks to my dad who was always grilling me with these kinds of questions as a child I learned to think this way. I didn’t like it as much as a kid, but as an adult, I loved these kinds of questions. In my organization I thrived on putting together proposals for my ideas and plans but it never occurred to me that a mission statement could be something useful for my family. In the past years, we have come up with goals as a family, but I soon realized this is different from a mission statement. I share about this below.
Well, I know you want to create a family mission statement otherwise you wouldn’t be here- so make a plan to do it this week! It’s simple!
This article is part of my 21 days of (re)Discovering the Heartbeat of Our Home! Follow us along via Facebook to get our updates as we go through tips and simple tips to help you get back to the basics, the purpose of your family and home. Perhaps, it will spark an interest in us to begin establishing roots that reflect our values, beliefs, traditions and faith. Maybe it will inspire you to begin looking at your home in a different way, as a place that welcomes laughter, beauty, celebration… a dwelling place where memories are made and traditions are honored. Or simply serve as a reminder of why you chose to turn your house into something with more dept–a home.
Whats the difference between family goals and a family mission statement?
Well, I’m glad you asked what the difference is between goals and a mission statement. For example, one of our goals as a family might be we’ll start eating healthy this year so we’ll cut out unnecessary carbs but next year it might be not to cut anything out but to exercise more. So those goals have changed depending on our circumstances but my family mission statement may include a phrase it that says, “To live a healthy balanced life.”, and that does not change.
“Every decision we make is ultimately governed by some kind of interest or goal or objective or value or principle, whether we know it or not. A Family Mission Statement is an effort to bring to an explicit level what your goals and values are so that people are on the same page.” – Stephen Covey
Why Create a Family Mission Statement
For me a family mission statement is the bedrock of our home, it not only grounds us, but it also provides purpose and unity. It’s the foundation you build on. It’s what keeps you grounded in the midst of the chaos, busyness, trials, growing pains and life as we know it. I see it as an anchor of sorts but also as a compass that guides us and helps us with decision making.
So I urge you to step back and think about what is our family about? What do you value, find important, believe in? What matters to you? What legacy do you hope your kids will carry on? What makes your heart beat? Most importantly, a mission statement reminds us that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
What is a family mission statement?
A family mission statement is a combined, unified expression from all family members of what your family is all about — what it is you really want to do and be — and the principles you choose to govern your family life. -Stephen Covey
In 3 Simple Steps Create Your Family Mission Statement
You may find it hard to sift through the many things you do and believe then narrow it to a few hard core things. You might find this hard to do but it’s highly worth it. It was actually really fun to listen to the kinds of things my boys considered important or the adjectives they came up with to describe our family.
- Sit down with your spouse and ask him to think & pray about:
What your family is about? What your family considers important? What do we want our children to learn from us? Values we want to pass on? What legacy do we want to leave behind?What is the main purpose of our home? I found this Family Evaluation Sheet,to be a good resource if you’re needing help to brainstorm. Just go to the end of post and click on her download button, it’s a free worksheet with questions to get you thinking. Prayer is vital in the process. We are believers and our faith is the very foundation we want to build on so I spent time praying to God asking Him for direction before and as we came up with our mission statement.
- Gather the family and ask them the following questions: (I have children 5, 9 and 12 and they were able to answer the questions) Make sure you allot enough time for your family to do this it will take at least an hour
- Ask questions like: What are our strengths, gifting, talents? What is our family about?
- Make a list of your core values. Core values are guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. Here are a few examples of core values: integrity, faith, adventure, creativity, honesty. Here ‘s an extensive list, if you’re needing some ideas. You can ask your kids to list some things that they think are family is about? What are some things that our family considers important? Make sure that you record everyones response even if you don’t think it’s valid. For example if your child says eating ice cream is a core value. Then write it down and maybe later you can say, that would fit under having fun.
- Ask them to list some adjectives that describe your family.
- From this list of core values I made our print “In This Family We…” that is below.
3. Narrow it down. Look for themes that can be lumped together. So if everyone is saying, vacation, taking trips, exploring then maybe adventure would be an adjective that describes your family.
Now you’re ready to put together your family mission statement in a short concise statement.
I highly recommend that you revisit your mission statement. You may need to review it or use it as a guide when making decisions. As your children grow they might want to add something to it or you may want to tweak it. All of this is fine. The beginning of the year is a good time to review it or the start of a school year.
Our family frequently visits our family mission statement. We ask: Is this a place where the sounds of love are found? Are we cynical and critical? Do we use cutting humor? Do we walk out? Do we communicate? Are we contributing? Or are we living selfish lives?” ~Covey
Here’s our “concise” family mission statement:
Our family mission statement–May He establish the work of our hands (Ps 90:17):
The Tuten Hernandez family commits to love each other and our neighbor because He first loved us. (1Jn 4:19). By God’s grace when we fall we can get back up. (2 Cor. 12:9) We will remember to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and not rely on our own understanding. (Prov.3:5) Remembering to let His truth be our guiding light–the Truth sets us free. (Rom 8:32)
This statement encompasses some of the pivotal pillars that guide us: love, service, grace, trust and truth.
Here’s our core values art work that I made from step 2 that we worked on together. I have it up on display in our dining room where all of our big and silly family discussions happen. I just printed it up on google docs and then I added the artwork by hand. The picture above is what I ended up displaying, the picture below is what I made on my computer but apparently my blue was too light so it doesn’t even show up when I printed it also I had to change our Est. date because our family grew in 2004 but our family was established in 2003 when we got married.
The above image is too long to be a Family Mission Statement. Usually mission statements are short, concise and to the point and the you have core values and objectives to follow and give details. So that is what I did but if you want something like the image above to be your mission statement then go for it!!!