What's A Family Mission Statement, and Why You Need One
Building a family is one of the most monumental journeys we have in our lifetime. The bond within a family is vital, and one way to help strengthen that bond is by creating a family mission statement.
Crafting a family mission statement can be a meaningful way for your family to come together and agree on a set of values that you feel define your family and the ones you each want to live out every day.
It can foster a more storied relationship with each family member and promote a greater sense of togetherness.
But how do you get started? We’ll take a deep dive into a family mission statement and why you should consider one for your family.
What comprises a family mission statement, and what does it look like?
Your family mission statement should help your family clarify goals and values - and how you want those two items to show up in your daily lives.
This mission statement could be about how you want to act, what you want to achieve, or ways you want to make an impact. It can also discuss how you want to treat one another.
Some examples you can use as jumping-off points:
- “The mission of our family is to create a welcoming space rooted in faith, love, happiness, and honesty. We provide the opportunity for each individual to proudly speak their mind to help make the world a better place.”
- “Our family mission is to love each other, to support each other, to believe in each other, and to be honest with each other, forever.”
- “Our family mission is to love and support. We value honesty, community service, hard work, faith, and creativity.”
There are no hard and fast rules when creating a mission statement. They look different across all families! Try to make a statement that’s representative of your family’s uniqueness, so you can go back to it and reflect.
Brainstorm a family mission statement together in 4 easy steps
Have you heard of the phrase, “it’s about the journey, not the destination”?
That sentiment goes hand in hand with family mission statements. The process of creating one is actually the most valuable part of the experience. There are four steps you will need to follow when creating a family mission statement.
Step 1 - Have a family meeting. Schedule a time to meet and get it all on the table. It may sound too corporate or strict to schedule a meeting with the family, but it’s a necessary first step.
To make the experience a bit more special, it would be a good idea to dramatize it a bit to demonstrate that you think it is important. Ways to do this could include ordering pizza with everyone around the table sharing the meal and discussion. Or go out for ice cream if the shop offers a quiet place to talk. Or you could even take the weekend away somewhere new! It’s essential that the family is excited.
During the meeting, focus on what’s important to every family member, not just the parents. Talk about what each person values and what they feel is important to include.
Step 2 - Clarify and solidify. Write everything down, so you don’t forget what each person said. It may even be a good idea to record the meeting, so nothing gets left out! Once everything is written down, hone in on the top two or three or even four key items that are meaningful to each family member.
Step 3 - Have everyone draft a few options. This is the time for each family member to get a little creative! If you have little kids, get them involved by helping them write down a few sentences that are meaningful to them. Don’t get too fixated on the wording—it doesn’t have to be perfect grammar or sound pretty! Whether you write a paragraph or a few short phrases, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re writing intentionally and from the heart.
Step 4 - Determine your final mission statement. Gather up everyone’s drafts and read them aloud. Take note of any similarities, what each person likes and dislikes, and come up with a final statement together.
The process of creating a family mission statement is incredibly meaningful. Especially as the years go on, there will be less time for the family to sit down together, so it’s a great memory that the family will carry with them.
How can a family mission statement benefit you?
How can this process benefit you? Your family mission statement gives your family clarity, purpose, and goals to work toward. It can also help clarify decisions in your daily life like spending money, investing your time and energy, and how you interact with others.
For example, let’s say that spending quality time together is something your family highly values. Maybe that means that you plan a great vacation with the family instead of having a “gift-heavy” holiday season. Or perhaps charitable giving is important to your family, and you can make a plan to volunteer together every year at a charity chosen by a family member. The benefits are endless!