Saturday, March 28, 2009

Purpose Driven?

On Thursday I had the opportunity to go and meet the people from Purpose Driven UK. It grew out of the ministry of Rick Warren & Saddleback Church. The UK arm has gone through some difficult times recently. Its founder and leader Dave Beer passed on after a battle with cancer this past November.

It was a pleasure to be invited along with a few other Pastors to a meeting where they were discussing their future. I really had a great day.

  • It reminded me again of my own personal and churches journey with what is know as "Purpose Driven". Quite a few years ago Mark handed me a book called the Purpose Driven Church and subsequently I visited Saddleback Church. What I heard was like finding a pair of gloves that fitted perfectly. It was not a system or process but a clear understanding and balancing of God's purposes for my life. I need a spiritual family to connect to, I need to continually grow in my maturity, I have the privilege to serve others, I get to share with others what Jesus has done for me and I live the rest of my life sold out for Him in worship. It’s that simple.
  • It was great to meet with such a varied bunch of Pastors from all different denominations and backgrounds with no personal agendas. In a group of church leaders you would be surprised how often that isn't the case. Everyone shared and contributed without it sounding like they were God's gift to the world.
  • I think the main thing that came out was that maybe there had been an over emphasis on a Campaign. Because of the success of the book The Purpose Driven Life and the church teaching campaign "40 Days of Purpose" that went with it. Many churches first experience of "Purpose Driven" was the campaign. And after all in church world we are very good at jumping on the new "latest" idea for church growth. So the campaign came and went but was not integral to the church’s life.
  • It struck me that if you focus on selling product instead of “selling” or presenting the ethos behind it you does the product a disservice. In my old line of work "Insurance" (don’t spit at me) you didn't sell product you tended to sell risk. Once someone understood the risk and the consequences there is more chance they will keep the premiums going. If they don't understand and tough times come or another opportunity comes up the premiums will stop.
  • Peter and the other guys from Purpose Driven UK went away with what I believe is some great wisdom and with much prayer I am sure they will move forward in the right path for them.
  • I really don't like labels. However we love to use them in church. I don't always keep up with the in terms but the old labels of denominations, Baptist, Anglican, Elim or AOG seem to be being replaced with seeker sensitive, attritional, missional, emergent etc etc. I like to think of myself as a bit of ALL of them because there IS truth in all of them. So I also and always will think of myself as Purpose Driven. But to me its not a label I want to wear but a life I want to live. Sold out every day for the purpose of making Jesus famous.


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