“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18)
Merry Christmas! I love this time of year and amazed at how quickly it comes and goes each year.
There has been several circumstances over the last month that has lead to the subject of this weeks newsletter. Not the least of which is the fact that I am studying John 17 right now, and also that it is the time that we and many of you celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This past year we have had several marriages in our family. Our son was married in July and my daughter on December 8th. Then my brother just announced he is going to be getting married in the first half of 2024. There are a lot of new families launching around us. Praise the Lord! Then we have had the opportunity recently to speak into the lives of several families in our Teach Them Diligently community.
There seems to be a re-occurring theme that I wanted to bring up today on Christmas Eve for you to think about over the next week.
It is a subject that touches everyone of us, regardless of who you are. It is leadership and mission and how it impacts our homes.
Many of you out there think of leadership as being followed. This means that when we think of leadership we picture it as a person out front and a crowd following behind. Or, a person standing up on a stage and speaking and instructing an audience that is listening.
Simply put, we believe leadership is about instructing and telling people what to do, and they follow. Good leaders in our mind are followed.
When we think of good leaders we think of characteristics like:
All of these might be true, but I think we are skipping one very important foundational element to being a good leader. It is one that Jesus had that we talk about often but don’t necessarily connect it with being a good leader. Do you know what it is?
He was and is Missional
Jesus was sent and he told the people around him what he was sent to do. He gave them a vision and what they were trying to achieve.
So, apply that to your home…
All good leaders start with a mission. It is foundational and missed so often in our homes.
The mission does not have to be detailed or eloquent or intellectually stated. It can be simple. How it is stated is not as important as that it is actually achieved, or at least something that directs. We reach for it.
Many of us miss this.
We jump right to setting up rules and standards and habits in our home.
It is easy to do because you can set up standards and rules in your home and believe that you are doing well, but actually that is an illusion.
Without the mission the rules and standards are empty. They are a list of do’s and don’ts that are in reality just vanity. It is the mission that gives what we do meaning.
Think about Christmas…
Without a deeper meaning it is just an empty holiday with a jolly old fat guy and the burden of home decoration that stays up for less than a month.
But, what it really is, is a celebration of our Savior coming to earth, humbling himself as a baby, dealing with the hardship and pain of living and dying on earth for the sake of redeeming all of us because of his great love for us. Christmas is remembering this mission and the traditions should be celebrations of this mission.
Jesus was sent with a mission that drove everything that he did and said. And, we who believe in Jesus are sent because he was sent with the mission of proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel in everything.
But, and here is the really good part, we are not beggars that are trying to convince a bunch of cynics of a weak message. Actually we are part of a triumphal procession.
What is a triumphal procession? Well, that is for next week…Once you learn this it will change your view of the mission and ministry of what you are doing everyday.
But, as for today, think on your mission and how you communicate it in your home. Keep it Simple. This doesn’t need to be a long, elaborate, intellectual vision that is hung on your walls. It can be a simple directive that you use to gauge every decision.
I would trade an eloquently stated mission statement any day for one that is simple and directs my steps.
Without a mission, you and your family are floating. All the charisma and wisdom in the world will not change that. Like a boat, there is no such thing as just sitting still. A boat without a motor or sails is moved and tossed with the current and at some point it is overcome by the waves and dashed against the shore.
Our mission as a family is to bring people to Christ.
Our mission as parents is to bring our children to Christ.
Now,…how does that mission change and inform the things you do in your home?