Living On Purpose
The buzz words today are “intentionality” and “purposeful.” People want lives that are full of purpose and specific intention. Jobs, money, education and things are becoming less important to people. They want to live lives that make a difference—lives on purpose.
Colossians 1:16 tells us that all things were created by Him and for Him. We understand His creative powers yet we fail to meditate on that second phrase: “…and for Him.” Our very reason for our existence is His purpose.
But how do you discover His purpose for you? God’s Word is clear on several levels.
God’s General Purpose for Every Person
1 Corinthians 10:31 says that everything we do should be for God’s glory. Creation exists for His glory (Psalm 19:1-2). And, we are part of His creation.
This does not mean every person knows God’s purpose for his/her life or wants to glorify Him, but this is our purpose as part of His creation.
God’s Purpose for the Church
Ephesians 3:9-11 tells us the church’s purpose is make known the wisdom of God. It’s also said a different way in Matthew 28:19 where Christ says, “Go make disciples….” Once again, some churches know this and some don’t. It is evident in churches that know this: they are making disciples; they are growing spiritually and numerically.
God’s Specific Purpose for Individual Christians
Those who have been recreated in Christ have been recreated for good works (Eph.2:10). However, God has specific a purpose, I believe, for each child of His.
I am making an assumption on this last statement, but the assumption is based upon common senses and one Scriptural principle.
- Every Christian is different. This is a given. No one will disagree with this statement. This is common sense.
- Every Christian has different spiritual gifts, life experiences, life skills, personalities and passions. This is common sense but it is also taught in Scripture (see 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12). Having expressed this, the next logical thing is to ask the question, “Why does every Christian have differing gifts, etc.?” I believe it is because God wants individual Christians to fulfill their individual/specific purpose in their lives contributing to the overall good of the church and their community.
Do you want to live a life of intentionality? Do you want your church to be a church that has purpose? If you answer, “Yes” to the first question, you will need to do some in-depth study and reflection to discover your God-given gifts, passions, personality, life skills and life experiences as an individual. Knowing these things may help you in discovering a specific purpose for your life. You may already be involved in things that are a part of that purpose.
If you answered “Yes” to the second question, then you need to discover the strengths and values of your members PLUS discover what your community’s and church’s needs are. Most churches do a lot of good, spend a lot of money and exert a lot of effort. This is what I term the “Shotgun” approach to ministry. If your congregation is doing all of this, and it is causing the church to grow numerically and spiritually, your church may be on target. However, if your congregation is floundering and it is not growing numerically or spiritually, I think you need to do some research. It will be a good investment of time.
When you invest the time and effort required, you will have a better idea of what God’s specific purpose is for you as an individual or as a congregation of the church.