Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Family Mission Statement

Last Friday night, our church had what they called "Mission: Date Night".  It was a chance for couples to come to the church and drop their kids off so that they could go out on a date with a purpose.  We took advantage of this awesome opportunity.  We had a nurse watching Peyton at home and Moira came along with us to church.  While Ron and I went out, Moira hung out with her church friends eating pizza and watching a movie.

Ron and I went to the chapel before heading out.  We were greeted by one of the pastors and given an envelope which contained our mission.  We headed over to one of the many prayer warriors on hand so we could be prayed over before commencing our date.  We headed out with mission in hand.

The purpose of the evening was to develop a mission for our family.  If we've worked in Corporate America, we know that big companies {even not so big} have a mission statement.  Maybe they're called "guiding principles" or "core values".  It's all pointing to the same thing: a mission that the company strives to achieve as it's main philosophy for doing business.  I hadn't ever thought of a family having a mission statement, but here we were going through the packet, talking, and trying to develop one for our family!

The note on the cover of the mission packet reads as follows:

Families that develop a written set of values and mission with practical action steps can intentionally guide the development of character and establish family identity in order to promote spiritual development.

As a family unit, we do have values that we strive to uphold.  But we hadn't ever sat down and discussed what our "core values" were as a family or what we wanted to achieve as a family.  Who are the Fontenot's??  Well, we set about trying to figure that out!

There wasn't enough time in the date night to come up with our mission statement, so we wound up coming home and getting Moira to bed so that Ron and I could further discuss our mission.  I would really encourage you to consider doing this yourselves, if you haven't done something similar already!

Here are some of the points were were encouraged to think about:
  • What makes your family unique?
  • What was most important to you growing up?
  • What do you want to do as a family?
  • What do you want your family legacy to be?
  • What are your family's strengths?

Wow!  That was a whole lot of discussion right there!!  Then we were challenged to identify our core values.  We were given a list of several values.  29 actually.  Some examples were love, fame, power, humility, happiness, wealth, security, etc.  From this list were were challenged to identify all of the values that were important to us.  Then we were asked to remove two at a time until we got down to four or five.  This got really tricky fast.  There were several which we easily knocked off the list - not because they weren't important to us, but because they weren't what we would consider to be the most important.  Before too long, we were having to weigh core values that were similar.  Happiness versus contentment, for example.  Some of the values were similar to each other.  Or maybe there was one value from which others stemmed, ultimately saying, if you have the one value then you will automatically develop the others.  It got to be really challenging and it really spurred on a lot of good dialogue.

None of the values on the original list were bad.  That said, we came up with the following top five core values for our family:
  1. Love
  2. Contentment
  3. Faith
  4. Humility
  5. Wisdom
After this came an even trickier part...actually writing out our mission statement.  Wow.  What a task.  It was a wonderful task to be challenged with, but wow!  Fortunately, the paperwork did state that there was no wrong answer, so that was encouraging!  It went on to say: Each family is unique, and God has given each of us a unique calling.  Just as each individual is given different gifts, each family is given a distinctive mission to impact the world.

So, what is the Fontenot Family Mission Statement??

The mission of our family is to love God and one another by faithfully submitting to His will and abiding in Him.  We will continually seek His wisdom to guide us along the path He has laid out for us.  We will do this humbly and with servant hearts, promoting a spirit of contentment as we strive to do His will.

Mission accomplished??

Yes and no.

We did get a first draft of our mission statement, so yes, that much is done.  BUT...it doesn't end there.  The process is not over.  Now it's up to us as a family to live out that mission statement.  The next part of the challenge involves creating a "family code" - a series of attributes that we will embody as a family that will guide us towards living out this mission.  That's where we are at right now.  Coming up with the family code. 

What an invaluable thing to develop and do for our family!

Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)

6 Train up a child in the way he should go, 

Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

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