Your Search for Purpose

I was in Atlanta, Georgia to meet with leaders of a church and help each leader write out a statement of life purpose. In the home of one family, a woman named Laura shared her life story with me. There was nothing out of the ordinary.  She was a wife, mother, daughter, and disciple of Jesus.  She had a nice home and a great family but she was struggling with one thing:  She wanted to know her life’s purpose.

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How To Write Purpose Statement

First, have faith that God will answer you when you ask Him to show you your life purpose.   You may want to start by reading Luke 11:11-13, Hebrews 11:6 and John 7:17.  Then read Psalms 32:8 and 138:6-8 in the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.  Claim these promises for yourself as you begin.

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Never Too Young for Purpose

Recently I was in London, working with a team of people who have helped plant a church there.  After we spent a day working through some difficult personal issues among the team members, I found myself giving a report, saying that the team was “so young.”  The youngest member is 25 and the oldest is 33. Someone who heard me say that reminded me that 25 and 33 aren’t so young, but the older I get, the younger they look!  But these “young people” are making a dramatic impact in one of the world’s major cities and they are doing so without a pastor! Each one of them left their own country to start afresh in England and now they are now making their spiritual mark.

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A Purpose Revolution is Coming

It was Saturday, November 7, 1991. I was working with Integrity Hosanna Music as a consultant and we decided to offer a class entitled “Effectiveness: Finding Your Life Purpose” for the non-musicians attending our worship seminars. I anticipated a small crowd, but more than half the people attended. When we offered the same class three months later, the results were the same: people came and people loved it.

Since that November afternoon, I’ve taught that class or preached that message more than 700 times. I’ve taught it so often not because I’m a good teacher, but because God is a God of purpose.

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What's In a Name

All of the books, all of the materials that I have, one way or another, are going to talk about finding your life purpose.  God has something for you to do that only you can do.  God has something for you to be, that only you can be.  And God is a God of great diversity.  Unfortunately, the church very often has limited God’s diversity. We have required that people check that understanding of diversity at the door of the church when they come in, and consequently we’ve tried to fit people into just a few categories: like five-fold ministry or twelve spiritual gifts. 

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Paul: A Purpose Study

A Closer Look at What We Know About the Apostle Paul, a Man of Purpose

Paul made tents for a living, but he never saw himself as a “tent maker.”  What did he have to say about his purpose?  In every epistle he wrote, he referred to what he had been born to do and never did he write that it was to make tents.  He was clear enough to talk about his purpose every chance he had. 

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Productivity Requires Purpose

When I start an all-day seminar to help people better define their purpose, I often ask the participants to make an attempt to define their purpose.  Some will stare at me, not knowing what to write since no one has ever asked them that question.  But others will write things like, “To do God’s will,” “to worship the Lord,” or “to help people” or “to serve mankind.”

What Would You Write? Perhaps we should stop here and ask you the same question? What is your purpose in life? 

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Servant Leaders

Several key personal beliefs about leadership have made their way into my leadership philosophy. They include:

  1. Leaders are born and made
  2. Leadership requires a lot of hard work
  3. Effective leaders, if they are truly effective, are surrounded by good people
  4. Good leaders need to recognize and reward the good people around them
  5. Leaders are servants.

Let’s look more closely at the fifth one: servant leaders.  A number of years ago I read Max DePree’s book, Leadership Is an Art.  It remains today one of my favorite books on leadership.  In that book, DePree makes one simple statement about leadership that I have quoted and meditated on in many settings:

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.  The last is to say thank you.  In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor.

That summary is profound and I have found it to be true in my own leadership opportunities again and again.

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