What’s Your Life Mission?

Psalm 139:14 I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Lots of people journey through life without a clear sense of purpose and personal mission. Truth is, every single one of us can and should connect with our reason for being alive. While the ultimate reason God created us is for relationship with Him, He has wired us up with some unique strengths for a specific purpose on planet earth.

Discovering your life mission takes time and is a life long journey. The longer I live the more I discover about my purpose and reason for being wired up the way I am. If you are unclear about your life purpose, don’t fret but begin the journey today to discovering more about God and then he will help you discover more about you. If you have some clarity, then go deeper in the journey by asking some further questions of God and yourself. Engage in a closer self-examination.

Begin with God. If I want to know the purpose for a particular product, I would go to the original manufacturer and ask the all important question, ‘what on earth does this product exist for?’ The original creator of your life is God. If you don’t believe this fundamental truth,  then your first step towards your life mission is to re-examine your belief system and be open to going on a faith journey with God. God created you fearfully and wonderfully. Your destiny is not your decision, its your discovery. God is sovereign and he has a plan and purpose for creating you. Connect to your calling by connecting to God and he will give you inside information on who you are, what your wiring is and how best to utilize your strengths to fulfil your mission.

Understand your Past. Your destiny is hidden in your history. God has already been at work revealing, shaping and moulding you for your life mission. Even the painful experiences God can and will use for his glory and your testimony. Reflect and remember where God has already been active in your past.

Identify your Passion. What’s your holy discontent? What stirs your affections and passion. What makes you leap to your feet and moves you to action? Too many of us are content to stay in roles and environments that don’t really reflect the passion beating in our hearts. Connect to what it is that you love doing and love resolving and go after it.

Discover your Ability. What comes easily to you? Where do you seem to excel? What have others said to you, you are good at? What do you find pleasure in doing or being apart of? Don’t believe the lie, that you’re not good at anything. It’s rubbish. Everyone of us are good at something. Start engaging in life and see what comes to the surface of what you do well.

See your Opportunity. What doors are open to you? It could be no doors are open in your area of interest currently but if you knocked on a door, what could open up to you? Opportunities to engage in life are all around us. Discern what opportunities lie before you, even if disguised in hard work and start to take some steps in that direction.

Open your Ears. What is God saying to you? What is His still small voice impressing upon you? What are others around you saying? Chew the meat and spit out the bones of people’s comments. Listen with a discerning heart and embrace what resonates with your spirit and throw out the rest, unless God is trying to speak to you about an area of your life you need to pay attention to and grow in.

Record your research. Don’t just let important details you’ve discovered to float around in cyberspace or brain space, get it down on paper and exact your thinking with writing. Your life mission is too important to be vague and fuzzy about. Get clear, get specific and get focused.

God created you for a specific purpose. You have a life mission and God wants you and expects you to connect to it. Your life is a gift from God, what you do with your life is your gift back to him. Don’t waste another day, swimming in a sea of doubt and disillusionment. Begin the journey today to living on purpose and connecting with your life mission.

The Oracle!

The Purpose of God for your Life!

John 18:37 ‘For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth.’

Jesus had a core understanding of his purpose. He knew why he existed and he knew what he was alive in history. Do you live each day with the same conviction as Jesus did? If you don’t, you can.

Ephesians 5:16 says, ‘Make the best use of the time, because the days are evil.’ The best use of your time is to connect to the purpose of God for your life. You were created for a purpose. God doesn’t make rubbish and you aren’t here by accident. God has a specific intention for your existence and unique expression for the wiring that makes you, you.

The universal question common to everyone is, ‘What on earth am I here for?’ We all ask this at some point in our lives. I asked this a lot in my teenage years and I’m going through a new season of sharpening the focus in my life, where God is drawing attention to my purpose for the future ministry he wants me to engage in. I’ve observed that this question will come to your attention in your life when God is wanting to transition you into a new season that he has for you. It’s in questioning, that you end up seeking God for answers and as a result deepen your relationship with him and thus get promoted to a new level of awareness of your unique calling.

God is on a mission in the earth and he created you to play a specific role within it. Join God in what he is doing by seeking him for your unique purpose. Listen to what others are encouraging you in. Observe the areas in which you find yourself gifted and graced for. Ask yourself, what am I passionate about more than anything else? Get involved in serving in an area of ministry and your gifts will begin to surface.

Don’t waste time by just going through the motions but reposition yourself for the purpose of God in your life.

Grace!

Discerning your Calling

Discerning your calling is one of the most important responsibilities you have.

However, I’ve learnt that it isn’t as hard as you might think. As I reflect over my life I have to acknowledge I have certainly made the task more difficult than it actually is. I think one of the benefits of growing older and hopefully a little more mature, is that you get insightful perspectives on life that you didn’t have previously.

For me there are 4 basic ideas to discerning your calling:

1. Passion – What are you passionate about? What are deeply interested in? What human needs do you gravitate to?

2. Ability – What talent do you possess? What do others say you are great at? Where are you effective?

3. Opportunity – What doors for service are presenting to you right now? What are the needs around you that require your attention? What opportunities lie before you?

4. Listen – What is God saying to you at this point in your journey? What scriptures, words and ideas continually spring to mind?

The PAOL process can be applied to finding your next job, making life altering decisions and venturing out into new fields of ministry. This process requires deep understanding of self-awareness, listening to the counsel of trusted friends and spending time with God.

For service in the local church, I would encourage you to begin with opportunity. Opportunities abound in the local church. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few (Lk 10:2). Every church desperately needs people to serve in some area. The more ministries you try and serve in, the better idea you’ll get of what you are effective in and what you are a gumby at. By the way, we are all good at something and a gumby at something. Enjoy!

Grace!

What’s Your T-Shirt Statement?

If you could summarize the BIG Idea of your life into a single idea, what would it be?

This exercise is perhaps one of the most important and demanding activities that you could ever engage in. Your T-Shirt statement is the BIG Idea narrowed down into one, pithy, overarching sentence that brings definition and meaning to your world. You must be able to fit it onto a T-Shirt. Your T-Shirt statement is all about bringing focus to your life and purpose to your activities.

Every month I interview a leader from across the Body of Christ and my last question is always, “What is your T-Shirt statement?” I get a range of answers, including scripture verses, motivational statements and ‘one word’ answers. Regardless of the form they come in, they all mean something significant to the people sharing them.

Your T-Shirt statement will be different to mine and it should be. You are a different and unique person to me and every other person on the planet. Whatever it is, are you living it, embodying it and sharing it with the world around you? Would the people you work with and live with be able to identify you by your T-Shirt statement?

Your T-Shirt statement is likely to change in different seasons of your life. As you mature and grow, you will develop more and more clarity around your BIg Idea, so don’t feel like you have to get the perfect statement. Just work with what’s burning in your heart and mind currently.

Let me share with you my T-Shirt Statement?

“I’m a nobody, telling everybody about somebody.”

I would love to get feedback from you on what your T-Shirt statement is. Send in your T-Shirt statements via comments and wear your T-Shirt proudly.

Grace!

What is Mission?

Apart from being totally overwhelmed at the birth of my first child, Chelsea (now 8yrs old) I was taken back by the thought of the Son of God being born exactly like my baby 2,000 years ago. Jesus Christ was sent by the Father as a missionary to humanity. Jesus incarnated himself (literally became ‘meat’) and contextualized his entire life with the culture of his day. There is no religion that gives any revelation of God like the bible gives of Jesus. Jesus is the only God that identifies with his creation to the point of death. Jesus’ mission was a covenant of grace, forgiveness, atonement and eternal life for those who would believe.

Just as Jesus was sent to us, Christ has now sent us (Church) into the world on mission to preach the gospel and make disciples of Jesus (Matt 28:18-20, Mark 16:15). The Gospel cannot be heard if Christians don’t go and preach it in word and deed (Rom 10:14-15). We have been sent out with a message of truth, faith, love, repentance and forgiveness of sins.

The power of the Gospel is the same today as it was 2,000 years ago (Rom 1:16), so why aren’t we seeing the same results, particularly in western countries, as in the book of Acts? I love the church but I want to share with you a few reasons why:

  • Some of the church is too slow to go to the culture and preach the gospel
  • Some of the church is too self-focused rather than others focused
  • Some of the church is apathetic about the reality of hell (Shows up in our preaching and apathy)
  • Some of the church doesn’t take the bible seriously enough
  • Some of the church has drifted away from passionate love for Jesus

We must know, understand and pursue the mission of Jesus.  For more insight on mission read John 1:1-18 and Mark Driscoll’s book titled, “The Radical Reformission”.

Grace!

How Jesus responded to Fame!

Matthew 14:1 “At that time Herod the tetrarch about the fame of Jesus…” Matthew 12:15-16 “Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known.”

In my devotions this morning I came across these two passages of Scripture and was fascinated by the fact that while Jesus had obvious fame and notoriety in his generation (and still has today) because of his preaching and miracles, he went to great lengths to keep it all under wraps.

Throughout the gospels we read that Jesus was constantly asking his disciples or those to whom he was ministering to not to tell anyone about his ministry, and yet it seemed like Jesus ministry just kept getting bigger. He even had family members telling him to go to Jerusalem and do his works out in the open and not in obscure places, if he wanted to be known… How wrong they were about Jesus motives…

Even though Jesus had many people following his ministry and his name even being heard amongst the elite of the day (King Herod), I’m fascinated that he did all he could to keep a low profile, to enable him to go about the Father’s business in the times and seasons alloted to him.

Jesus lived his life on purpose and if twitter and Facebook had been around, I’m sure he would have avoided boasting of the last great miracle he performed (“Just opened another blind man’s eyes… I had to give him another round of prayer cause his eyesight was still blurry after the first one…” In 70 characters or less).

Jesus responded to the opportunities before him according to his mission from his Father. If being given a platform to more people would extend the mission of the Father, then Jesus would use it accordingly but I don’t read him seeking fame. In fact, he did the opposite, he avoided it.

How Jesus’ example challenges us today? I wish I could say, that all of my motives for social media and ministry have been pure but unfortunately, lurking deep within have been some very prideful and selfish agenda’s. I’ve since repented of them, however, Jesus’ example forces us to re-examine the goals we are aiming for in our lives and what we are seeking after as being worthy of our joy and contentment.

If God’s grace extends to you fame and notoriety, this much I know, it isn’t for you, cause you were never built to handle it. It could only be for the glory of Jesus and the extension of his mission on planet earth. If fame and notoriety doesn’t come your way, rejoice that your name is written down in the book of life and get on with the mission God’s put before you.

Grace!

Mission Drift

Drifting with the Current

I wonder if you have ever experienced being at the beach and running into the ocean water, only to discover after a considerable period of time, that you can’t find where you originally put your gear on the beach because you’ve drifted, unbeknown to you, with the current of the water.

Mission Drift

This is exactly what it is like in our own personal lives and in the life of the church when it comes to the mission. One of the challenges of leading any group of people is the gradual drifting from the original purpose the group was formed in the first place. I call this mission drift. This is particularly rife in the church. Jesus has given the church a clear mission and purpose for existence (Matthew 28:18-20) but so often the focus turns inward and we get more preoccupied with ourselves than we do with what Christ has called us to do.

Save Souls and Make Disciples

Jesus has called us to save souls and make disciples but too often we allow a variety of programs to run that aren’t in alignment with this mission and too often we get caught up in weekly activities that don’t produce the results that Christ has called us to focus upon.

Mission drift can happen in your personal life as well. You started out with a clear mission in mind but over time, your sense of purpose gets eroded by the urgent and before you know it, you have drifted with the current of distracted busyness and you’ve forgotten what it’s really all about.

What’s the solution to mission drift?

  1. Get clarity on the mission before you embark on the journey. Know what purpose the Church exists for and what purpose God has created you for.
  2. Keep the mission before you constantly. It’s not enough to hear it or read it one time. You need to be indoctrinated in it and constantly checking everything you do against it.
  3. Align your activities with the mission. It’s not enough to know what the mission is. You must pursue it and align every activity with it. If the mission is the sole purpose for your existence, then don’t do things that take you away from it.
  4. Hold yourself and the church accountable to the results required of the mission. Don’t ignore results in favor of faithfulness. When a church is working the mission, tangible results will follow. Lives will be changed and more and more people will start following Christ. Don’t excuse yourself due to a lack of fruitfulness. Hold yourself, team members and the entire congregation accountable to what the mission requires of you.
  5. Celebrate the mission. What gets applauded, gets attention. What gets celebrated, gets prioritized. Use testimonies, milestones and forward progress as opportunities to celebrate the mission and remind everyone again of why we do what we do.
Insight!