As we left the house this morning, I called out to my kids, “Let’s go, squad!” My teenager rolled her eyes, but yes, these are my people, my crew, my team. Depending on where you live, “squad” may be a word more commonly used to describe a group of rugby players, cheerleaders, or crime fighters. But around here, friend groups such as my daughters’ are known as squads, so she tells me.
There is a lot of talk among her age group about “goals,” too. Relationship goals, good hair goals, and of course, squad goals. Goals—meaning hopes, aspirations, and accomplishments. For example, “Spending the holiday with my closest friends! #squadgoals,” might be the way to tell followers on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, about plans for school break.
I love the idea of “squads” and “goals.” Those two words speak to me of collaboration, sharing resources, and hope. Squad goals are energizing and exciting. As a parent, you already have a squad. But do you have goals? Can you imagine a team effort that would glorify God, meet someone’s needs, and bring joy to your family?
When you have a goal, why not share it with the world? Use social media if you want to, but I am thinking much bigger. As in, “Go into all the world with the good news of Jesus,” types of goals. That is a project for the entire family of God, but it starts with any number of small acts done by Jesus’s followers who are willing to go —across the street and to the ends of the earth — with Great Commission-sized goals at heart. Here are a few ideas to get your squad started.
- #LookOutForOthers: Gather basic necessities (for example, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush) into packages. Pray and ask God to help connect you to people who need them. Carry them when you travel, and look for someone who has a need. They are there, if you are looking. Continue to pray for the people you encounter. Discuss what Paul wrote in Philippians 2:4: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
- #FeedYourNeighbor: Cook something delicious together and deliver it to a neighbor. Unexpected kindness warms stomachs, softens hearts, and builds bridges to relationship, too. Introduce Jesus’s authentic love for humanity to those who have not yet met Him.
- #TransformationGoals: Participate in a local trash cleanup day, or plan your own. The transformation of a physical space is a wonderful illustration of God’s transformative work.
- #LoveAGlobalWorker: Invite a missionary family to your home for a meal when they visit your town. Pray for them. Send care packages. Consider visiting them and catching their vision.
- #ReachtheUnreached: Adopt an unreached people group that does not yet have an indigenously-led body of Jesus-followers. The Operation World book and websites like operationworld.org and joshuaproject.net are great place to start. Pray regularly for this people group, watch for news events in their region of the world, and ask God to provide for His workers there. Find organizations through which you can financially support those workers. Consider together what it means that “God so loved the world …” (John 3:16), and yet many have never heard the name of Jesus, and even more do not have a Bible translated into their language.
- #FamilyPrayer: Pray together before a meal. Join hands for a physical sense of connection, no matter your family’s size. Give every family member the opportunity to take a turn leading your family in prayer on different days. Sitting, standing, eyes open, eyes closed; it doesn’t matter. Thank God for what He has done in your life, ask Him to help you where you fall short, and praise Him for all He is yet to do. Pray for other families around the world who are persecuted for their faith. Thanking God even on the bad days, trusting Him for small and big needs, and remembering others are perhaps the greatest “squad goals” you could have for your family.
These family squad goals are simple, attainable, and include everyone in your family. Most importantly, they include God as part of the team. He is always at work and while His ways are inscrutable, His goals are not. He desires to be known and worshiped in every language, people group, and culture – including yours. Ask Him to use your squad for His goals. Jesus promises that, “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). I cannot imagine anything better.
What does your squad look like? What particular characteristics does each member bring that make your squad uniquely equipped for a particular job? Share your family #squadgoals by leaving a comment. Hashtags are optional!