“I don’t really have a clear idea about what God wants me to do with my life.” Have you ever heard someone say that? I hear it fairly often. Several people I know are looking for the answer to the question, “what is my purpose?”
One of the most helpful things you can do to get some perspective on that question is to look back into your past and see what God has been working into you.
Several years ago I took a leadership assessment called Focused Living at Leaderbreakthru.com. There is a $30 fee for the survey, but it is well worth it. I have taken a number of such assessments over the years but what interested me about this one was that it was not about answering multiple choice questions and having results spit back at you based on your answers. This was entirely done by you.
You start out by writing your life story in a five page paper. Then using that as a resource you begin to write out the key moments, circumstances, people, and events onto yellow post-it notes. You end up with around 50 post-its. Then you pick out the ones that were painful experiences and copy them onto pink post-its.
Once that is done you take all the post-it notes and arrange them chronologically onto a poster board. Now you have your life in front of you in bulleted form. Looking at these post-it notes, you begin to notice that there are distinct chapters in your life and you title the chapters.
The next thing you do is to then write down the lessons you learned and the things you do not want to forget, under each chapter. Now you have a picture of what God has been building into you throughout your whole life. Knowing what God has been working into you then gives you some powerful insight into what God wants you to be doing. The end result is the creation of a “personal calling statement” consisting of three parts: a biblical purpose statement, a list of core values, and a personal vision.
In the spirit of full disclosure, and to whet your appetite for doing your own, below is my own personal calling statement.
Personal Calling Statement
My Biblical Purpose Statement:
My Father purposefully created me, graciously redeemed me in Jesus Christ, and in love united me to Him as a son through the Holy Spirit, to bring Him glory through enjoying Him and His love, and in being a well-spring of His love for others.
My Core Values:
- Submission to God: God is sovereign and I need to trust and obey Him and allow Him full access to me no matter the circumstances because He loves me. (Humility)
- Love Who You Are: I am a son of the Father, brother of Christ, and a partaker of the divine nature through the Holy Spirit. (God-grounded confidence).
- Love= Grace + Truth: Love means conducting ourselves in truth while responding with grace.
- Family: Home is the center of discipleship.
- Relationships: The IC (shorthand for “irreducible core” i.e. the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, loving God, loving others, and making disciples) is about relationships, my relationship with God, self, and others.
- Relational Leadership: Godly leadership is relational and personal rather than positional and hierarchical.
- Growth: All healthy living things grow, mature, and reproduce.
- Learning: You will be the same person you are today five years from now except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.
- Reflection: I recharge by being alone to think, reflect, and meditate.
God has called me to work with Him to equip (Ephesians 4:11-13, NLT) and encourage (Hebrews 3:13, NIV) the Church locally, regionally, and around the world by embracing the call to love one another by being full of grace and truth (John 1:14, NIV). I will commit myself to this work by:
- Committing to the work of the Spirit in me to transform and empower me to personally live in and live out grace and truth.
- To strive to have my family known as one that exemplifies being full of God’s grace and truth in our lives, in our relationships, and in our work.
- To equip God’s people through teaching, preaching, workshops, and creating printed, electronic, audio, and video materials.
- To encourage God’s people through personally mentoring and discipling men and women, and by creating and cultivating environments that will empower them to do the same.