That was the question put to us last semester at the conclusion of one of our courses at the Missionary Training Center (MTC). What’s your family about? What’s your focus? Where are you investing yourselves? These were just some of the questions we sought to answer as we engaged in developing our family’s mission statement. You may be thinking, “Family mission statement, really?” Yes, really.
Every unit we served with in the military had a mission statement. A single statement in which was distilled the most important aspects of the very purpose for which that unit existed. It not only focused the efforts of those working under it, but also determined where their limited resources would best be allocated. It was a statement simple enough that everyone could remember it, yet profound enough that every activity could be measured against it, “How does what I’m doing right now contribute to the accomplishment of my mission?”
We too wish to spend our time and expend our effort wisely as a family. Proverbs 17:24 says, “Wisdom is the focus of the perceptive, but a fool’s eyes roam to the ends of the earth.” (HCSB) In this day and age where distractions bombard us at every turn, to the very “ends of the earth” as it were, we wanted something to help cut through the clutter and focus us that we might discern the Lord’s direction for our family in whatever situation we find ourselves. After much prayer and discussion this is it; this is the Mark family in a nutshell…
Understand and know God ourselves; clearly and boldly communicate God’s truth to others.
Below are the foundational Scripture references from which our statement was derived:
Jeremiah 9:23-24 (HCSB)
23 This is what the LORD says: The wise man must not boast in his wisdom; the strong man must not boast in his strength; the wealthy man must not boast in his wealth. 24 But the one who boasts should boast in this, that he understands and knows Me—that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things. ⌊This is⌋ the LORD’s declaration.
Understand: to be circumspect and hence, intelligent; to be prudent, act wisely, give attention to, ponder, prosper; to look at [Heb 7919]*
Know: to know by observing and reflecting (thinking) and to know by experiencing (synonymously parallel with; to “hear”, Ex 3:7; “see”, Gen 18:21; & “perceive”, Job 28:7) [Heb 3045]*
Col 4:4 (NIV)
4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly as I should.
Clearly: to render apparent, make manifest (as opposed to what is concealed and invisible); reveal the true character [Gk 5319]*
Ephesians 6:20 (HCSB)
20 For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.
Boldness: to be frank in utterance or confident in spirit and demeanor [Gk 3955]*
Matthew 28:19-20 (HCSB)
19 “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Communicating God’s Truth to Others – the making of disciples and teaching them to observe everything commanded by God will require communication of God’s truths.
*Definitions for the highlighted words were taken from The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, © 1996 and/or Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words, © 2001, both printed by Thomas Nelson Publishers.