5 Habits of Purpose-driven Families

Is your family purpose-driven? In other words, is your family influencing each other and the community in a way that reflects the Creator? There is one way to tell. How well is your family practicing the following five habits that all purpose-driven families pursue.

We commonly think about purpose as individuals. Thanks to Pastor Rick Warren’s ground-breaking book, “Purpose-driven life” many of us began to think afresh about why we are here on earth. We were created to use our gifts and talents to get to know God more intimately, to authentically connect with others, and to help others develop richer relationships with God themselves.

When we think about purpose, we tend to think about it at the level of the individual. That certainly does have merit. However, the question is whether it stops there. Are marriages, families, communities, and churches intended to be purpose-driven as well?

Well, my answer is unequivocally “yes”.

Given my own interest in family life and encouraging folks to turn their hearts towards home, I set out to identify what it means to be a purpose-driven family.

I feel like it is an important notion in a culture where family life continues to face enormous internal and external financial, education, and employment stressors just to name a few.

The result is that marriages are strained. Parent-child relationships are shallow. Siblings are often disconnected and acting out. Elderly parents feel alienated. Even many singles struggle to maintain vital, life-giving relationships.

What is the problem?

The issues are certainly multifaceted. I believe, however, that at the core of the problem is a purpose deficit. Singles, couples, and families are going through the motions of life without a central guiding purpose or core identity.

In a previous post, I’ve discussed the five questions that are important to ask and listen of your family members. Click HERE to check it out. I encourage you to read that post as you consider the remainder of this post. They are complementary propositions.

Asking engaging questions and listening for the response is the fundamental need to move your family towards purpose. That is a starting point.

But, it isn’t just about the start. Purpose-driven families engage in behaviors that become practices that develop into habits. Habits, when developed early enough in one’s life journey,  tend to become transgenerational.

As I study family life and observe families, I’ve observed five habits that some families have mastered that allow them to have extraordinary relationships with one another, wield extraordinary influence, and change the trajectory of those  around them.

I want to have a purpose-driven family. It is with this desire in mind that I offer these five habits for your consideration.

Five Ways Successful Christian Leaders Give

You probably never thought about how a visit to Chick-Fil-A can teach you a valuable leadership lesson on giving. But, that’s just what happened to me last weekend.

Last weekend on a blustery early Spring day, I had the opportunity to visit my local Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Langhorne, PA and meet its owner/operator,  Dave Heffernan. As employees and patrons scurried around serving and being served, we found a empty booth in the front of the restaurant near the registers. We were so thankful to Dave both for being very gracious with his time (his willingness to take time out of his busy Saturday afternoon to talk with us about his highly successful restaurant) and also his candor.

In talking with him, I learned that his  Chick-Fil-A restaurant is the top-performing Chick-Fil-A in this entire region. Pretty impressive, right?

So, as a student of “leadership”, I really wanted to understand what  were the keys to his leadership success. I even asked him how much of his success was based on his location versus his own leadership prowess. However, even before he answered this question I could tell that his authenticity and enthusiasm had to be important ingredients, as he oozed of them both.

As Dave shared a number of interesting facets of the business, it quickly became evident to me that his personal success and the performance of this restaurant reflect a culture of giving—just as he was modeling at that very moment in so graciously giving us his valuable time to me (a complete stranger). Though the conversation, however, he shared his own Christian faith and how he feels his faith compels him to generously give both of his time and his money.