What’s The Difference Between Having A Vision For Your Family Or A Mission Statement?
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We set out to write a family mission statement many years ago, shortly after my oldest child was born. And here I sit today, without a family mission statement on my wall! And you know what? I don’t care. All the time I didn’t spend toiling over the perfect words to post on my wall was spent working diligently to accomplish the vision I had for them instead. Having a vision for your family and making it happen surpasses the need for a mission statement. So if you have yet to write your mission statement on the wall… don’t sweat it!
Having A Vision For Your Family
When I got pregnant with my oldest child over a decade ago, I knew what I wanted our family to “look” like. I could see the family dinners, parent-child dates, family vacations, child training, and sibling bonds as they played out in my head.
There was no shortage of encouragement to “come up with” a family mission statement. Most of the Christian parenting books I read at least mentioned the importance of writing down what our vision for family life would be.
What I began to realize, though, was that wrapping up every goal I had for my kids and my family into a single palatable paragraph was crazy-difficult.
What I realized even more so was that the vision and goals I had for my kids and family were far more than words on a sign. They were actions. They were training. Intentional walks in our life as a family that would bring to fruition all the beautiful family visions I had in my head.
A Family Vision Is A Lifetime Of Action – Not A Wall Sign.
To this day, I don’t know that I could sit down and write out a mission statement for our family. (which should mean something, right… since I write a parenting blog and all)
I do, however, know the top 10 goals I have for us. And I know how we are actively taking those goals from visions in my head – to happening in real life.
I’m not going to list out our goals and how we are meeting them. That would be boring, and this is about YOU!
However, I do want to give you a few pointers when approaching having a vision for your family and possibly making a family mission statement. Actionable steps that will help you see a path to your family goals instead of just having some words written on the wall.
A statement is a group of words. And words are most powerful when acted upon.
Let’s talk about your vision for your family and how you can bring the words in that vision to life.
What Is Your Vision?
- Do you have visions about your child making a living in professional athletics?
- Perhaps you have visions about your children coming together as adults during hard times to lean on and support one another?
- Or maybe you have visions of a large family that works together for a common cause to see the lives of others positively transformed?
How Do You Get There?
- If you answered yes to the first one, your family vision path might look like this: Working To Pay For Training and Coaching > Years Of Athletic Training and Coaching > Professional Athlete.
- Maybe you can relate to the second one… Then your path to that vision might look like this: Every day We’ll Do One Team Building Activity > Years Of Intentionally Training of Living Together Skills > Strong Adult Sibling Bonds.
- Lastly, if the third vision sounds like you, your path might be shaped like this: Free Time Is Spent Fundraising > Intentionally Connecting With Missions Groups > Traveling The Country And The Globe to Impact Others.
I’ve seen real-life examples of all of these paths, and there are certainly many more. The truth about all of these paths is that each family had a vision. They may or may not have had a statement written on the wall, but they had vision.
Actually, the parents in these families probably didn’t even know they were walking out their vision while they were in the process.
Here’s the reality… we focus our time on what we want the most. The idea of a mission statement is so appealing because they offer us this “greater purpose” without having to actually do anything.
We have these special, meaningful words written on the wall… so we must be doing the right things, right?
Mission statements written out on a board or a pretty sign provide the illusion that we are doing something great with our lives and our family.
In reality, they are just letters on a sign unless we are intentionally walking out what we want to accomplish with our kids and our family every day!
Can’t We Have It All?
“But can’t I accomplish at least 2 if not 3 of the visions you listed above with my family?”
There are 24 hours in a day. The majority of that time is spent simply keeping yourself and your children alive. The time you have left to make a vision come to life is very little.
Plan and prioritize accordingly.
Again, words like vision and mission are big, broad, intimidating words. But the path to see your family’s goals happen in actionable steps.
Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have a family mission statement written out. We have a family meeting around the dinner table every single Sunday. And every single Sunday, at least one (sometimes more) of my children says these words, “I just can’t believe I get to be in THIS family! Our family is the best family!”
We have no mission statement on the wall but we are killin’ it at our family vision, and your family can too!