“See you later, 2020! You were fun … but not really.” If you are anything like me, you have been waiting to say those words for a while now. It was a year to remember. It changed us all, it made us rethink everything, it (hopefully) propelled change in our lives and, most importantly, it helped us refocus on the things that matter. We learned a lot of valuable lessons in 2020 that we shouldn’t just throw away (like how valuable toilet paper is). But most of us are probably happy to start a fresh year, with fresh hope and vision.
New Year’s resolutions are popular but, on average, 80 percent fail miserably. From weight loss, to reading more, to better devotional time or more connection with friends—we all have good intentions to create a better life, but very few of us actually have a plan to make those resolutions stick.
If something doesn’t work, why do we keep doing it the same way? Why not try something new? What about trying a family resolution this year?
In our little house, we have a family team mindset. This means that we function as a team, at all times and in all situations. We believe that God has a specific and beautiful design for the family. At the beginning of the Bible, humans were given a job: to make, cultivate, create, build, steward and tame. To put this another way, to take raw materials and make something beautiful. Adam and Eve's job was to bring the world into order, to take what God gave them in the Garden of Eden and go make the rest of the earth look like this—to go into chaos and bring order and beauty (and be fruitful and multiply).
How Adam and Eve were to do this was kind of up to them and their God-given skills and abilities. Your family and my family are called to do the exact same thing—we are called to go into all the world, bring beauty out of chaos and make disciples, but how this mission is played out is up to us.
Instead of individual goals and resolutions, what would happen if we started thinking bigger, started thinking biblically and started thinking about each other?
I’m not knocking goals and aspiration or even individual resolutions, but what I am encouraging is that more decisions, goals and aspirations are made with the family in mind. In our culture, the individual is the most important thing, but when you look at successful sports teams and businesses, they never succeed because of one individual. They succeed because they are a strong team. When God began the big story of creation, he didn’t make one individual, he didn’t start a non-profit, he didn’t put together a board of directors. He created a family team.
A family team with a specific mission and a unique vision.
How do we do this? How do we become the families God designed us to be? How do we become that 20 percent of people who stick to their resolutions? We need a plan. Better yet, we need a vision.
About three years ago, our family created a vision with seven pillars that we would use to make decisions and keep us grounded in what we believed was our family’s specific purpose. At the risk of sounding dramatic, it changed everything. Our family became a cohesive team with a purpose reminding us who we are, how we were created and what we should be doing. We have never made another resolution or goal since.
Maybe your resolution this year can be to discover what your family can do to fulfil this great (co)mission. Maybe this year your family can craft a plan, a purpose, a vision to help get in the game of pointing all we do to God. This year—after the most crazy, chaotic and just plain weird year ever—we need families who are grounded in Christ, propelled by the gospel and armed with a vision to go into the chaos and bring order and beauty.
Captain Bhreagh Rowe is the community ministries officer at St. Albert Church and Community Centre in Edmonton.
Photo: filadendron/E+ via Getty Images