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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Family with a Mission

Last Friday's Wall Street Journal declared family mission statements to be the new status symbol of the wealthy (see the WSJ Wealth Report blog). These mission statements guide wealthy families in the use of their money across generations--at least ideally. Consider this mission statement quoted in the article, "We want our capital to allow our children and their children to be able to find their passion and pursue it with excellence." The article reports that this wealthy couple's "three daughters went on to Ivy League schools and successful careers."

Does your family have a mission statement? We do. No, my husband and I didn't meet with consultants and attorneys to draft a family mission statement and ours has nothing to do with financial wealth. In fact, we haven't even formalized our mission statement, although here it is:

The Edwards family lives to serve Jesus Christ and train our children to live a life in His service.

We don't have money like the wealthy couple with three daughters to fund this goal, but we do have assets--capital--to invest in pursuit of our mission. Chief among these assets is our time.

Our decision to homeschool is rooted deeply in our mission to train our children to live a life of service to Jesus Christ. We have concluded that homeschooling is the best way for us to accomplish this aim. Likewise, it is the reason we are involved in Bible studies and AWANA. In countless ways this unwritten mission statement guides our family.

When faced with an opportunity that requires our time or talents, we look back to the mission and ask each other, "Will this help us stay on mission? Or is this off mission?"

As our children grow we are pressed on every side to add more activities to our schedule. Most all of these activities are good, wonderful, enriching things. We can't do everything, so we come back to our mission statement.

How will we know if we've stayed on mission? We won't know fully until we see Jesus. Only He can judge our success. Even if our children grow up to embrace the mission for themselves, it isn't evidence of our faithfulness to the mission. But Jesus knows our hearts and watches every decision we make along the way.

As Christians, our mission statements are status symbols of a different kind. They identify our status as children of the King and servants in the Kingdom.

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