Ready for part 2 of the Purpose series? Missed out on the first part? Don’t worry I got you covered you can read it here. Let’s dive right in.
Purpose is NOT ministry
Ministry is simply the pursuit of purpose. Ministry is the vehicle or platform through which you accomplish purpose. But it is not your purpose in itself. Well, it is sometimes used interchangeably.
In this context, “ministry” here refers both work within the church or any kingdom work done in the “marketplace”.
Purpose is NOT church work or anything with a religious undertone
Maybe because people that commonly teach or talk about purpose are pastors or priests or someone with a “ministry”, whether on social media or on our pulpits, we wrongly assume purpose has to have a “churchy” or “religious” feel to it.
Purpose is not about church. Purpose is about God’s kingdom. And Kingdom is bigger than church. The church is merely the administrative headquarters and training ground for the deployment of Kingdom ministers into different spheres of the society. Purpose can be accomplished on ALL mountains of influence, and not just in church.
Do you know it is possible to be a church worker and even be on the church’s payroll and yet not be “in purpose”? Do you know some ministers and pastors may not be fulfilling the right assignments for their lives? Hard to believe, right?
Purpose is not about having a religious undertone to what you are doing. You can be neck deep in what looks impressive in the eyes of Christians and still be out of alignment. And you can be pursuing something that looks grossly secular (not carnal, there is a difference) on the surface with no tinge of religion and be very much in purpose.
Purpose is a journey; NOT a destination
As with many things in life, purpose is like a journey on a loooooooooooooong stretch of road with no end in sight or destination in mind. You are just on an adventure, learning on the go, dealing with any challenge that confronts you as you journey, teaming up with people you meet on that road, leaving some persons behind…growing, learning, stretching, improving, perfecting, following and taking twists and turns as the Spirit leads.
As long as you are alive, you can’t confidently say you have figured this purpose thing out or finally discovered all there is to your purpose. You are constantly evolving and changing as seasons change and your understanding of your life’s purpose and assignments per season will change as well.
Go with the flow. Enjoy the journey and the suspense it comes with. Embrace whatever you see in each season. The most important thing is to be in line with God’s will for your life and you are doing what you are meant to do in each stage.
Purpose is NOT one thing
I have a tweeny-weeny problem when we are encouraged to coin a purpose statement. If you don’t have one, it’s fine, as far as I am concerned. A lot of persons, even some of our fathers of faith, still accomplished purpose without having a fancy string of words that they pieced together as what defines them.
If you already have one, still fine. I do have one. Or should I say, I did. Cos I don’t know whether that statement fully defines me now. It defines me a bit. A great bit, truthfully. But not fully.
Earlier today, I was listening to a mentor share something remarkable on identity. She said,
And I completely agree.
Purpose is not one thing. I strongly believe it is much deeper and complex than we know. That isn’t a problem because God didn’t design us to unravel it all at once. If you have deciphered a bit of what looks like your purpose, don’t run off thinking you have known all there is. And don’t be too fixated and rigid about it.
God can take you “off tangent”. Or so it seems. He can switch up your sphere of influence, target audience and even the skills, tools and platforms He needs you to use to accomplish His will in a 360° way; a complete opposite of life as you knew it before. It may not even be with the giftings and talents you are used to. You may be good with music and begin to think you will fulfill purpose with that gift and God pulls you out and bestows you with a fresh gift that makes you very good with numbers. And somehow, your musical talent may not be prominent as such.
An analogy I want you to have in your head is that which Paul communicated to Timothy in the 2nd chapter of his 2nd letter. See yourself as a trained SOLDIER of Christ who God can decide to deploy anywhere as He deems fit, to do anything as the occasion/need arises.
If you are all about purpose statements, I hope you won’t be non-flexible when God calls you to do something that does not fit into those fancy lines you have defined yourself with.
Yes, they may help give your life a sense of definition in a particular season or stage but be careful not to build boundaries and walls. Your purpose is not usually one thing nor can it be limited to a sentence. It is deeper and more complex than just some words your present self figured out and trying to impose on your future self permanently.
Purpose is NOT social impact
There was a time the purpose wave swept the world. When the likes of Myles Munroe started writing and teaching about it. And the likes of Rick Warren penned a book about it. I like to believe God was intentional about that season. He wanted the world to know that there is more to life than just eat, sleep, go to school, graduate, get a job, marry and have kids. I believe God wanted everyone to know He created EACH person for a reason and no one is just some living mass that came about by mistake.
Well, the concept of purpose has been hijacked by some motivational speakers who don’t really understand the deep, spiritual significance of it and has reduced it to social works and impact. Now, it has become a trendy word. We hear lines like: Find your purpose. Do what you love. Discover your gifts and talents and serve the world with it. Build a legacy. Leave your footprints in the sands of time.
After such inspiring lines, you are pumped and you run off. Start an NGO. Kick off a philanthropic project. Become an activist. Or whatever comes to your head.
Not everyone will be a social savior in a public sense. Not every purpose has a social undertone. Some assignments won’t affect the public directly, or should I say openly. If you are not catching vision for a social impact project, don’t force one on yourself. Find your position and stay there. Own your own purpose with pride. It may not always have social implications. Well, when viewed on the surface. Just run the particular race set before you and finish well. Footprint in the sand of time or not😅. Who is checking by the way?
Purpose is NOT always about activity and programs
It’s wrongly assumed that anyone and everyone who is seemingly busy with one project or activity or program or the other is “purpose-driven”. Wait until I share the definition of purpose and you will know that it is not all about that.
There are silent seasons on the purpose journey. And of course, there are times of execution. Execution is NOT always about activities or programs either. You see, there are lot of persons who are burned out doing one thing or the other that nobody sent them to do. Because they think it is by DOING.
Withdrawing and BEING is in line with purpose.
By the way, it is always BEING before DOING. WHAT you do is determined by WHO you are. At the core of your calling is your identity.
Purpose is not ONLY about what you are DOING for God or His Kingdom. It is also largely about who you are BECOMING, even while serving God. One proof that you are in alignment with your calling or purpose-assignment is that God uses it as a tool to make you become more like Christ. You will realize that as you serve, you experience true transformation.
No one should pressure you to start off something. Being activity or program-driven does not always mean being purpose-driven. This is why, if you are not a Spirit-led Christian, your chances of being in alignment with a particular season of your purpose journey is slimmer. You won’t know when to do what.
If your purpose does not require you to design flyer, rent a hall, host an online program, speak on any platform live or online or launch a website, be VERY content with that. We will not all be out there. Some persons may be in the limelight while some others are in the background. We are all fulfilling purpose in our own unique ways.
I am learning to be unhurried in some occasions. Completely silent and in the background at some other times. And ready to run with a sense of urgency if need be.
Purpose is NOT about you having a personal vision or being a founder of a ministry, project, organization etc.
Again, I don’t want your mind running to having a start-up anytime you hear the word “purpose”. Purpose can have you serving another man’s vision. In fact, it often begins that way.
Bring to mind the soldier analogy. When you have proven to be faithful serving under a commander in a platoon, you may be called to be a commander some day.
So, if you don’t have “Founder, CEO, Coordinator, Lead anything” attached to your bio, it is perfectly fine. Provided you are being and doing whatever God is laying in your heart to do in the now.
Purpose is NOT about you – your desires, goals, dreams, aspirations, ambitions or family.
When you are in line with purpose, who you become and what you do will always have an impact on the world and the Kingdom.
If your decisions and choices are largely influenced by your personal ambitions or geared towards meeting only your needs and that of your family, you are likely not in alignment with God’s purpose for you.
Purpose is ALWAYS bigger than you, your family and your small cocoon. Purpose NEVER has a selfish undertone to it. It is not about you and will never be.
Purpose is pre-determined.
“It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago He planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.” (Ephesians 2:10 TLB)
You are a living prophecy, fully scripted. Your life from birth to death has already been recorded. Your entire goal is to find the script, the Bible, stay close to the Movie Director, the Holy Spirit and with His guidance act out your roles so that what was written concerning you will be fulfilled.
There is no need trying to manufacture something new for your life or something that looks fancy like what your friend or mentor does. Or what is popular in your generation.
Find your script. Read it very well. Act whatever is in it, whether it makes sense or not, whether it is novel or not, whether it is popular or not, whether it is accepted by family/society or not.
Let’s see an example with Jesus’ life.
The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord ’s favor has come. ” He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luke 4:17-21 NLT)
His assignments and purpose had been pre-determined long before He was born. He was not trying to copy John the Baptist or Elijah or Moses. His life on earth was merely to live out what was already written concerning Him and fulfill it. And it is no different with you. There is a scripture or some scriptures with your name on it (metaphorically speaking). Find it! Living out that script is purpose-fulfillment.
Will end today’s series by defining WHAT PURPOSE IS:
- Purpose is God’s original INTENT and DESIGN for a particular creation of His. It is the intention He had in mind for you to accomplish while on earth, before He made you.
- Purpose is God’s vision, plan and agenda for YOUR life. It is the part you have to play in God’s grand agenda for the earth.
- Purpose is simply living the life God wants you to live, becoming who He wants you to become, doing what He wants and has called you to do, which usually involves serving others and not yourself and building the Kingdom of God.
- In DDK’s words, purpose is WHAT you’re designed to DO, WHO you’re designed to BE, WHAT you’re designed to CREATE and the ROLE you’re designed to play on earth.
- When a portion of your purpose is revealed to you as an idea or mental image, it is called a VISION.
- God’s purpose for your life is your life’s assignment.. That specific assignment or designation is referred to as your CALLING.
If you have any question arising from what you just read, feel free to ask.
Thanks for reading to the end, I want to leave you with a question: What was your ‘light bulb’ moment while reading this? What resonated with you? Your thoughts matter, and I’d love to hear them. Let’s continue this conversation in the comments below. Thank you for investing your time, and remember, your insights can spark change and growth for us all.
You can read some of my blog post:
I hope you find this podcast by Joyce Meyer on purpose helpful as you journey on purpose discovery- How To Unlock Your Purpose | Joyce Meyer’s Talk It Out Podcast | Episode 93