Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, says, “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.”
Creating a mission statement for your family is a key act that can set the tone for how your family lives out values individually and collectively. By committing to a common purpose, it shapes even everyday actions.
To take next steps in crafting a mission statement, here are 5 simple ways to start the conversation to draft your statement:
- Sit down with your family
Gather everyone together and invite your family to share their thoughts on what they want to be defining traits or activities for your family. Get a whiteboard or a notepad to jot down the words, phrases, or ideas thrown out. Listen to everyone’s perspectives and insights as every voice should be equally heard and represented. This phase is focused on encouraging contribution and worrying less over weeding out ideas yet.
- Draft a vision statement
Together with your family, decide on several sentences that will encompass what your family wants to be, based off of common themes from your brainstorming session. A few examples: “May our first word be adventure and our last word be love”, “We bring people together in order to reflect the same way Jesus ministered”, “We demonstrate unconditional kindness to others and within our family” or “We are committed to believing the best in others and also calling out the best so people can thrive according to God’s purpose ”
- Dream big
Let each family member share their ideas of how they hope to embody these big ideas. For younger ones, they could create a poster board with cut out pages from magazines, color, or draw pictures. Teenagers and young adults could save articles or images of causes they value, people they respect, or quotes that reflect these goals. Jot down these ideas to identify common themes that could shape your action.
- Create your mission statement and finalize your vision statement.
Following the ideas expressed from your previous discussions, determine the steps your family can take to achieve your vision. Use this time to make adjustments needed to the vision statement as well. Make smart goals that are achievable and doable. These steps become your mission statements. You may decide on one singular family mission statement, or each member may want to have their own. Remember, perfection is not the goal. This should be unique to your family and your personalities.
- Put it on display
Display your family vision and mission statements in a place where you will be reminded of them. For creative types, you may want to write them on a chalkboard or canvas. For others, you can simply print the statements and frame them. However you choose to share your statements, they will be a reminder of a favorite memory and serve as an encouragement to become the best family possible.
Remember, this is a process. Draft, discuss, start over if need be, and remember that it’s ok to take time in the planning process. You don’t have to do it all in one night.