Edmond-based ministry, Family-ID, is on a mission to make immediate family improvements that will influence generations to follow. It began 13 years ago with the vision of founder Greg Gunn and has since impacted over 2,000 families across the country and Canada.
Their goal is to reach one million families with their message of transformation and success. One of Family-ID’s objectives is to identify a vision and mission statement for the family, similar to a company’s vision or mission statement. They say the key is simple – write it down.
“What we try and help people do is the same thing they’ve done in business their whole life,” said Executive Director, David Brown. “To take a business from good to great takes intention. To bring a family from good to great also takes intention.”
The first Family-ID workshop Brown attended changed his life. “It was insightful. It came at the right time for where I was at, for where my family was at and it just completely reshaped our hope and our future.”
The program helps families set goals while making values attractive to children. The idea of a family identity becomes rooted with devotionals. Once a family’s purpose is established, they are encouraged to “write it down.” Then, equipped with resources from Family-ID, each person is prompted to “live it out” and encouraged to “pass it on” to future generations.
One family that is seeing the rewards of their effort through Family-ID is the Gitthens family. Shelly Gitthens learned about the program through one of Gunn’s daughters. “There was a time when I would have been just overwhelmed by the concept, but we were at a time in our family that I was very intrigued,” she said.
As a member of a blended family, Gitthens and her husband both have adult children from previous marriages and a 10-year-old son together. In addition to helping them guide their young son, she says the program helps the entire family come together. “We’re able to use what we’ve learned to reach out to our adult children and our grandchildren in a way that we just weren’t able to do before.”
Gitthens credits the mission statement curriculum with helping their family make the right choices. “It has given us a compass and a place to come back to,” she says.
She firmly believes in what it can do for families. “Right now I think people are hungry for wanting to have a cohesive family and not just cross their fingers and hope that it works out,” she says.
Brown believes that everyone has a list of priorities. The word “family” usually comes first in that list; however, it’s apparent that on a day to day basis our work lives can sometimes creep up the list, taking precedence over a person’s top-ranked family values.
“The reality is that they live with those values upside down. Work becomes the priority. They spend 40 to 50 hours a week at a place they say is their fourth priority, and we all have to, but what are you doing with the time that you do have,” said Brown.
The idea behind the program is to be purposeful in your efforts and planning, much the same way a company’s CEO would. Brown says the program can also function as a small group curriculum in dealing with businesses and churches, and that family members often find themselves more productive at work once their home priorities are set straight.
Brown encourages people to “invest a small amount of time to make an impact that not only effects today, but future generations as well” because the program is meant to follow a family through the next generation and the one to follow. The question Brown asks is: “How do we lead our kids today so that they can pass it on, so our grandchildren become a product of living intentionally today?”
For more information and schedules for fall Family-ID workshops, visit their website at www.familyid.familyvisionministry.org.