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Mission Critical

If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.

Proverbs 29:18

One of the parts of my job that I enjoy the most is meeting with young couples who want to get married. I receive a phone call or email asking if I am available to officiate their ceremony and after confirming the date, I let them know that I require at least three sessions of premarital counseling. So far, every couple has jumped at the opportunity to invest in their marriage before it begins. I have three homework assignments during the sessions and one of those is to create a family mission statement. While we may be familiar with mission statements from our corporate settings, a family mission statement is even more beneficial as it gives a vision for the direction of the family. You can find more information on how to create one here.

When I came across the idea of a family mission statement, it occurred to me that I never thought about the purpose of my family. Not just families in general but my family in particular. Why did we do the things we do? Should we take the job or promotion and move across the country? What values did I receive from my immediate parents that I want to pass along to my children? I, of course, had all the sayings my parents said that I swore I would never say to my kids, but what else will shape the lives of my children? What I discovered is that I made decisions based on what I thought was best in the moment, yet I could be missing the blessings and purpose that God was shaping in the life of my family. The family mission statement was a way for my family to clearly see what God was doing in our family and gave us a way to shape who we want to become as we faithfully live for God.

I am always blown away by the creativity and sincerity of each couple as they share their statements. After lots of dreaming about the future and conversations about their values, they settle on a simple, memorable expression of what they hope their family will become. I tell them that one of the greatest joys they can have as a family is to be a blessing to others. There are lots of ways to live that out, but one way is to be a family that can recognize and celebrate the presence of God in their lives. That is my prayer for you. No matter what your family looks like or what season of life you are in, God is working in and through you. Perhaps creating a family mission statement can be a way to recognize the work of God and express that to those you love the most.

To hear more about family mission statements, including a few examples, join us this Sunday as we celebrate an awesome week of VBS and consider what we learn from children.

Rev. Chad McSwain