Developing Your Purpose Statement: P&P Part 8

Posted: May 4, 2012 in Passion and Purpose
Tags: , , ,

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
but one who has insight draws them out. (Proverbs 20:5 NIV)

We are entering into a process. This is not something you formulate once and then are done. Your purpose expands, morphs, and gets revealed more and more as the days go by. We need wisdom to draw insight out of our own deep wells.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20, 21 NIV)

This verse reminds us that our imagination serves the purpose of giving a target to God, a target that he will aim to exceed. The target moves as he fulfills his purpose for us each new season of our lives.

Many people speak of mission and vision as separate entities. There is validity to making sure that you know what you are called to, how you are called to do it, and why. I have found that so many people get confused and hung up on the different definitions of mission and vision that I’d like to replace that terminology with a simple, overarching, Purpose Statement. The goal of a purpose statement is to focus your life– to help you stay on the particular mission for which God has created you.

General Purpose Statements for All Believers:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)

Knowing your general purpose is good, but knowing your specific purpose for this season of your life, helps you stay focused, encouraged, and engaged in it. If we only know our general purpose as believers, we will never step into the particular purpose God has waiting for us.

Jesus’ purpose statements:

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. (John 12:46 NIV)

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24 NIV)

“Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations. (Matthew 12:18 NIV)

Paul’s Purpose Statements:

Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. (Ephesians 3:8, 9 NIV)

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. (Romans 1:1, 5 NIV)

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles. (1 Timothy 2:5-7 NIV)

Identify the following elements in your Purpose Statement:

– A personal identity. This lets yourself and others become aware of who you are. What is a title you’d like for yourself? What defines you the best? Feel free to have more than one. (Examples: Resource Releaser, Culture Definer, Armor Bearer, etc.)

– An action. What is it you do when you are your most authentic self, operating in your gifts and strengths? (Examples: create wealth, design handbags, uphold leaders, etc.)

– A people group. To whom are you called? Is it a geographic location, an interest group, socioeconomic group, or other type of classification of people? Narrowing your focus here does not prevent you from ministering to others, it just helps you narrow your choices. (Examples: people of Springfield, athletes across America, other moms of preschoolers, etc.)

– An effect. What happens or would you like to happen when you do what you do best? How do you see yourself affecting others or the world around you? (Examples: sell coffee to people all around the state of Texas, produce a family of world-changers, help others to reach their potential in Christ, etc.

– A purpose or reason: Articulate the reason you do what you do. What high purpose keeps you going? (Examples: the glory of God, seeing other people set free from bondage of sin, creating opportunity and jobs for people)

I am a ……. (a name, title, or function)
Who …… (what is it that you want to do?)
For …… (who are you called to affect?)
To…….. (how are you called to affect them?)
For the purpose of…… (why are you called?)

Work on your purpose statement and pencil it in on page 22 of your Activate Discovery Guide. Go back through your book and look through your answers for clues to help you formulate your answers.

The reason you write it in pencil is because it is a living document. After it is written, it is ready to be tested. Go try out aspects of your vision. Try it out in different settings. See if you have the skills you need. Go talk to others who are doing something similar, glean valuable knowledge on what it takes to do what they do. Look for all the barriers and obstacles, not to discourage you, but to help you count the cost. You may find something different about yourself in the discovery process. So as you learn, refine your statement and let it guide you with new information. Use the questions below to get started.

Questions to Ask About Your Purpose Statement

– Does your purpose statement excite and focus you?
– Does it excite and envision others?
– Does it require faith?
– Is there a true need for what you want to do in the place you want to do it?
– Is it aligned with the passions of Jesus?
– Does it help you choose certain activities over others?
– Does it define who you are in Jesus?

You want your purpose statement to be personal and specific to you. You also want it to be measurable. If your purpose statement lacks measurable goals and indicators of success, you will never know if you have accomplished your purpose. It should allow someone who doesn’t know you to see it, sense it, and be compelled by it. You may need a friend or Activate Coach to help you crystallize your thoughts. As you show it to people in your Passion Community, they can help you do this.

What actions can you take to test your purpose statement right now?

Narrow down the actions to the three actions you can take that you feel the Lord leading you to take within the next three months. You can look through your answers to some of the questions in the book for hints the Lord may be giving you throughout this process. Record your commitment on page 23 of your Activate Discovery Guide and share it with your Activate Coach and Passion Community.

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