One thing that we have been encouraged to do by our organization before we move overseas is to come up with a family mission statement. As Emily and I sat down to come up with our mission statement, we found it hard to do, considering the fact that we are both still so young. Some of the best leadership experts say that in your 20s, you should be taking the role of a servant, trying to help out wherever you can and not saying no to too much. This is because, for one thing, it’s good for us to learn hard work in our youth, but also because at this age it’s rare to have narrowed down what your strengths really are. And that’s where Em and I find ourselves. We have a good idea of a few places where we really hit our sweet spot, but for the most part, we’re still finding out who we are. Still, we know that we have a calling overseas and we know God has spoken a mission to us and when God speaks He also equips. So, we’ve crafted this mission statement for the Amberg family that we hope will, instead of define us, guide us as we grow more into the people we are called to be. And we also hope that it’ll give our future a sense of purpose knowing who they are as they grow up.
So here it is:
We will fight for justice in the nations; love patiently, tenderly, and richly; and honor the King in all that we say and do.
We adapted it from one of our favorite verses:
“He has told you, O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Fight for justice in the nations
It sounds like something a superhero would say, doesn’t it? But that’s the point. If you don’t believe you’re living for a purpose as weighty and serious as something Captain America would fight for, then what are you living for? That doesn’t mean you have to become a superhero or do something extreme, but it does mean you have to ask yourself the question of what does it look like for you? You can fight for justice from home. A lady at my church is a stay-at-home mom who leads an anti trafficking agency. She talks on the phone with the FBI, helping them rescue modern day slaves while making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Fighting for justice also implies that there is injustice in the world. There is. And I don’t just mean injustice in the developing world. I mean a real, terrible darkness that is at work in all nations in the world. It takes a lot of forms; extortion, slavery, violence… The first form it ever took was a snake. But there are many ways to fight it; evangelism, not-for-profit work, doing business in a way that gives back to the community… It is our responsibility to respond to injustice in some way. We have decided that being passive against it is not an option for us.
Lastly, we’ve said that we (and our future kids) will fight for justice in the nations. It was important to us to include that last preposition because it is the difference between a global perspective and a limited one. There is a woman on our support team who home schools her children. Since becoming one of our supporters, she has put up a picture of us in her classroom. The kids start off the day oftentimes by praying for us and learning something about India or some other country. It’s one of our favorite stories from fund raising because it’s just powerful when people realize that there are other humans just like them all over the world who live in different ways that, together, reflect the whole spectrum of God.
Love patiently, tenderly, and richly
We want our love to mean something. We want love that doesn’t jump to conclusions. One that waits to understand before passing judgement. We want to love in a way that gives the benefit of the doubt, assumes the best, airs on the side of mercy. That is patient love.
Tenderness too has become a big deal for us. We’ve found ourselves drawn to people who are tender. Particularly men. There’s just something trustworthy about a man who is tender. Something that makes me want to be like that. Makes me want to raise sons that are like that.
We were searching for a third word to describe the kind of love we want to drive us and we came up with richly. Because you don’t just enjoy something that is rich. You savor it. You talk about it years later. That’s how we want to love. We want a love that says “Why not?” “Go for it!” “Buy them that gift. They’ll love it!” “Tell them, even if they think you’re crazy.” Love that is rich is a kind of love that knows someone deeply. It’s that Christmas gift that is $20 cheaper than any of the other gifts, yet it’s the one that made her cry. It is the way God has loved us.
Honor the King in all that we say and do
I mentioned earlier that we adapted our mission statement from Micah 6:8. That means that this last part corresponds with the part about walking “humbly with your God.” To us, honor is the essence of humility. We honor the King because we know our place. We know that He belongs above us and we belong below Him. We think about who He is and we are compelled to honor Him. To speak in a way that would bless Him and to behave that way too. Our culture really likes to talk about the love of God, and rightfully so. But we have found a place of deep love and intimacy in honoring Him as our King. Because love is often attached to feelings of affection that too often are fleeting. But to honor Him is a choice I can make when I feel the affection and when I don’t. Honor is the outworking of the commitment that carries His love and ours. And love was always meant to grow in the light of commitment.
We hope that reading this little blog post about our mission statement blessed you, and maybe stirred you to begin thinking about a mission statement for your family. If you would like to get behind us by supporting our mission statement by helping us raise the funds to move to India, check out the giving link of this website. Thanks and God bless!