By Brent Rinehart, Crosswalk.com
Most of us don’t sit around and read company mission statements for fun. The “About Us” section of a website isn’t usually our first stop.
Yet, companies, nonprofits and organizations of all shapes and sizes devote considerable resources drafting mission statements. These purposeful statements shape and guide an organization. Mission statements explain why an organization exists, what values it deems as important and what its goals are.
An effective mission statement is critical in ensuring staff are all moving in the same direction.
Two of the world’s largest companies have great mission statements. Take Amazon’s: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
It’s aspirational, but also speaks to their values and where they see themselves. Look at Google’s mission statement: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” It’s simple and to the point, and no doubt, keeps everyone on the same page with the company’s identity.
The organization I work for recently went through this process of developing a new mission statement (or refreshing the existing one). I’m very familiar with the effort and intentionality it takes, choosing every word carefully.
Going through that process made me wonder what it would be like if we were to establish our own mission statements for our families.
Surely we all would like our families to be on the same page about who we are and where we are going. Everyone in our household should be marching in the same direction, even though we know we don’t all always make the right decisions.
God’s Word provides a great starting point for a family mission statement. Here are 7 simple Bible-based mission statements, along with verses and passages to consider.
1. God First
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
There’s no better place to start than the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. This verse follows His exhortation for us to set aside our worry and anxiety about the things of this world.
Today, it’s easy for us to become consumed with worry. The busyness of life and the anxiety about the unknown distracts us from the things that truly matter. This reminder to seek God first is a great way to keep our lives in the proper perspective.
2. His Plan, Not Ours
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act” (Psalm 37:4-5).
I’ve always been drawn to this passage and what it means in our lives. Here, the Psalmist is reminding us about our role, and God’s.
Our role is to follow Him. God will take care of everything else. He is trustworthy. It also reminds us that the more we follow Him and trust Him, the more our desires begin to align with His. As we seek Him, we become more like Him.
Our will becomes more like His will, and that’s a recipe for experiencing the joy of the Lord.
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3. Keep it Simple: Do Right by God and by People
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
I remember hearing about the K.I.S.S. principle in my writing and design classes back in college – you know, “keep it simple, stupid.”
Many of us overcomplicate the Christian life. This oft-quoted verse boils it down into easy to grasp nuggets. I always smile when I read this verse because it sounds like the Bible’s own K.I.S.S. principle.
Don’t make it hard: do the right thing. Get right with God and act right with others.
4. Focus on Him, Not Them
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).
Many of us are guilty of focusing too much on what other people think and do. Social media has made it incredibly simple for envy, greed, jealousy and overall toxic negativity to creep into our daily lives.
That’s what makes this passage so apropos. Our eyes should be fixed on Jesus, not on what’s going on around us. My pastor always says “What captures your attention, captures you.”
Things going on sure seem to occupy a lot of our bandwidth. But, an amazing thing happens when our focus shifts to Jesus…everything else gets smaller and smaller. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full, in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”
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5. Get Your Mind Right
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Whenever my daughter has a bad dream or has trouble sleeping, my wife quotes this verse to her. It calms her down and helps her to think happier thoughts.
As adults, sometimes it’s helpful for us to quote this verse to ourselves, to refocus our attention away from the negative. I’m pretty plugged in on the latest news, and I naturally lean toward the more cynical side.
That being said, I can regularly use an extra dose of Philippians 4:8. Our attention should not be on the bad things the world has to offer. It should be on those things that are pure, true, honorable and excellent. That is Jesus.
6. Put on Love
“Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12-14).
While my children love each other and play well together, they are at the age where they can get on each other’s nerves if they spend too much time together. During those times, it’s important to remind them to “put on love.”
I appreciate the visual Paul gives us here…just like putting on a coat. We don’t naturally wake up with the love we need. We need to take action and clothe ourselves with love. If we all were to do this daily, the world would be much more peaceful place.
7. Be Worth Imitating
“Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1); “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2).
If you are a parent, you know the power you have to influence your children, for good or for bad. They are little sponges, soaking up everything thing we say and do.
Often, it feels like they put into practice and imitate the things that don’t matter, while seemingly ignoring the things we wish they’d copy. As I read over these verses recently, I was challenged with three little words: be worth imitating.
Others, especially our children, will be influenced by us. Our goal should be that we are living in a way that is worth imitating. It’s a challenge to daily walk with God, because others are watching.
But, more than that, it’s a challenge to daily walk in love because He loves us so much. We should want to imitate Him, and if we do, the result will be living a life worthy of copying.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Anna Pritchard