What is your Vision/Mission?
by Erin Olson on February 14th, 2012

Prior to retiring (aka becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom) ten years ago, I had a job in a law firm. I was a paid worker – I clocked in and I clocked out. I wasn’t really vested in the firm other than the fact that it gave me a paycheck twice a month. I knew what our basic goals were as a firm (serve our clients, bill our clients and make money), but never really had a clue about how we reached those goals, what they stood for and what the greater picture was. I have a business degree so I get the general understanding of what a business needs to do in order to run, but I’ve just never been in a position where my input was sought out in the strategic planning.

Or so I thought.

Our house adheres to a patriarchal leadership style. I am completely okay with that. My husband is technically the CEO. My husband leads us by his example of working hard, making ethical choices, being available when we need him to listen and is accountable to all the employees and the shareholders. On the other hand, my role as a mother is equally as important. I also need to work hard, make ethical choices, be available and I am definitely accountable to not only the shareholders, but also to the CEO. There are many days when it feels like complete mayhem and often times it feels as though our shareholders are plotting a hostile takeover. It is grueling in the trenches, yet very rewarding.

One day as I was talking out loud to myself about the chaos of the day, my oh-so-wise 3 year old pointed out, “Momma, if we don’t know the rules, how do we know what to do?” Straight to the heart. Doesn’t it seem that conviction is often handed to us out of the mouth of babes?

I acknowledged his point and my mind started spinning. Haven’t I said what was expected of them and what is and isn’t acceptable like a million times? I felt like I had, but perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. Writing things down wasn’t always an option because only one of them could read at the time. I thought I had been doing it right by verbalizing the rules. What I quickly realized that even if they couldn’t read, they needed something to go to, something tangible to keep them on track.

The rules of the house are but just one piece of the puzzle. The biggest piece is why those rules even matter. During this life lesson, I started to examine myself. Isn’t this what God likes to do in these types of moments? He likes to mold us during our weakness and seeking. In order for me to lead my children, I first needed to be able to lead myself. What was needed of me in order to do this?

What did I envision for my marriage, my family, and myself? Were we working toward the same common goal? How was I able to evaluate this?

Running a household isn’t much different from the business world. Without a clear focus, things can go astray. Ken Blanchard in Christian Reflections on the Leadership Challenge states, “If leaders want people to give their all and put their hearts into their work, leaders must make sure people know where they are going.” As parents, we are leaders. As Christians, we are leaders. It is therefore imperative that we lay the foundation for our families as to where they are going and the importance of that goal.











Get creative with your vision/mission statement.
This led my family and I to put together a family mission/vision statement, along with a set of household rules. These weren’t meant to oppress my children or limit their God given creativity, but rather to help them see the path ahead more clearly. At the center of our vision/mission is God – “We are a family of Jesus followers who are committed to doing all that we do to the glory and excellence of God and to serve others as lights unto the world.”

This statement is written down and displayed so that we can see it and be reminded about it at all times. This statement allows us to measure our results all the time and encourage our strengths and weaknesses. Once we are able to understand that these aren’t just a human set of rules and goals, but rather a divine goal, it helps to build not only performance driven results, but it also encourages personal growth.

The world is a busy place and we can often lose sight of our ultimate goal. But if we take the time to lay the groundwork for our children, for our families and for ourselves, it will be rewarded. For “where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)

What is your vision/mission?


Posted in not categorized    Tagged with family family vision statement family mission statement stay-at-home mome


2 Comments

Chris - February 14th, 2012 at 4:20 PM
Great post, Sis. I have had a goal to write a family mission statement for a couple of years. I know how important it has been for me and how it has always acted as a rudder to guide me through the ever changing river that is life. I've shared my mission statement with people from time to time and seen the powerful impact that it has made on them. So intrinsically I know there is value to doing. so. Every time that I have sat down to make our family mission statement I have this overwhelming feeling that it is manipulative because I am making decisions for the entire family, by trying to create it myself. The idea of having the whole family join in on the process is great and now that the kids are old enough to do so, that is exactly how I intend to handle it. It was on my to-do list for this year but just moved up in priority after your post. It will act as a guidepost of expectations and, hopefully, something that Patterson's can be known by. It should ring in their ears when they make decisions; I know that mine does when I make decisions in my life.
Erin Olson - February 14th, 2012 at 4:30 PM
Thank you! Don't ever feel like you are manipulating your children. God has placed them in your care for a reason....to nurture them, grow them and train them...we have to make some of their choices early on so that hopefully as they grow, they will be able to make their own wise choices because of the foundation that you and Yvette laid. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)
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