By Kyle Burrows
We have a new baby! My wife and I recently adopted a sweet, beautiful, baby boy into our family. He is our third child. We have two biological children: a 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter. And now we are back to changing diapers and feeding a little human at 3 AM every morning. Prayers are always appreciated!
People often ask us why we decided to adopt. There is a long answer, which has to do with four years of discerning God’s call on our family’s life. There is a short answer: God opened the door. But perhaps the answer that I find most compelling is the answer that may actually change your life! We adopted because it fit into our family’s mission statement: “God has called us to share our family so that others may be loved, blessed, and encouraged.”
Is it odd for a family to have a mission statement? I would have thought so three years ago. Then, my wife and I attended a weekend workshop at Crossroads UMC in Hope Mills, and we spent the weekend contemplating how our family’s passions and possessions lined up to address a need in our community. That weekend helped us to discern that we had room in our hearts and room around our table to be family for people who don’t have family nearby, or perhaps for people who don’t have any family at all. God has called us to share our family! So we have dinner guests over a lot, and we spend time volunteering at our schools and with other organizations in our communities. We share our time, talent, and treasure so that others may be loved, blessed, and encouraged—that’s our mission.
As we prayed about God’s call for us to grow our family by adopting a child, part of the discernment processes was noticing how adoption fit into our family mission. So, why did we adopt? Because it is a way of sharing our family so that a baby and a mother may be loved, blessed, and encouraged.
How might this story change your life? Because I’m going to ask you a question. What is your family’s mission statement? Do you have one? Have you ever thought about it?
The answer is probably no, which is perfectly normal! As I mentioned, three years ago I thought the idea was as unusual as you may find it to be.
But does a compelling vision that guides and directs decisions belong only in the corporate world? Why do we see mission statements only in organized institutions? Do the decisions that your family makes regarding the use of time, money, and physical capital matter less than the decisions of a business or church?
Jesus has called us to follow him. We are tasked with making disciples and caring for the least of these. We are told that we are to be light and the salt of this world—we have work to do! Let’s do it with purpose and passion! What is your mission?
It does take some time and effort to formulate a mission statement, but you can start by taking an inventory. What are you passionate about? What resources do you have? How can those passions and possessions address a problem or need in our community or the world? Know that there is no mission too big or too small! It’s simply a matter of figuring out what call God has placed on your life during this season of life.
Understand that you will not live out your mission perfectly! We fail—a lot. Sometimes we are just too tired, too busy, or too self-centered to live into our mission like we want to. But the win for us is that we have a compelling vision that helps to guide us back to God’s purpose for our family when life starts moving too fast or becoming too chaotic.
We are the Burrows—now a party of five!—called to share our family so that others may be loved, blessed, and encouraged! How about you?