The Power of Purpose

March 10, 2012 by  
Filed under A Monday AM BLOG

What is Purpose?

1. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or a goal:

“And ever those, who would enjoyment gain, Must find it in the purpose they pursue” (Sarah Josepha Hale).

2. A result or effect that is intended or desired; an intention.

3. Determination; resolution: He was a man of purpose.

4. The matter at hand; the point at issue. To intend or resolve to perform or accomplish.

Idioms: on purpose – Intentionally; deliberately.

Intentional well define purpose = good results.

Little or no purpose and definition = few or no results.

What role does Purpose play in the Health & Effectiveness of a local church ministry?

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17, ESV)

Pastor/Elder and people will be held accountable for transformation. The Pastor/Elder(s) is/are accountable for providing the process and resources necessary for transformation to take place. The congregation/people are accountable for being persuaded by the ones leading them and obeying, embracing and applying the resources provided.

**Principle: You cannot measure what you do not first define!

NT Purpose – Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20, ESV)

When a local church embraces this purpose they ipso facto are submitting to the Lordship of Christ. The Scriptures by which Christ is made known to his people become the magna charta for ministry, not tradition, culture or previous practices typically expressed in the often repeated line – – “we have always done it this way”.

Leadership Selection – All persons serving in positions of leadership must meet the biblical profile (Acts 6; 1 Tim. 3 & Titus 1 for Deacons) and (1 Tim. 3 & Titus 1 for Elders). Do those holding such positions where you serve meet this standard?

Levels of Excellence – Our service in the church must meet the expectation expressed in the Shema in the OT (Deut. 6:4-9) and repeated in the NT (Matt. 22:37-40; Mark 12:30-31; Luke 10:27). This is a clear and unambiguous unfolding of both purpose and excellence. This must be the standard for all who name the name of Christ and claim to follow and call him Lord.

Our people know vast portions of God’s word. They can quote it. They can debate other people about what the text says. But they have no idea how it all fits together. (Dr. Al Mohler, He is Not Silent, p. )

The following quote is from a man that is part of the New Covenant page on Facebook that I participate in.

My dad had read the Scriptures all of his adult life. He would quote to me entire chapters of the Bible. In all of my years in Christ I have yet to meet the person who could quote more scripture than my dad. Because he knew the Bible dad understood what was right and what was wrong to please or displease God. He lived a good moral life. He was a good father, husband and provider. He went to church and he brought his wife and seven kids to church. Everyone who knew him considered him to be a good man. I never heard him speak vulgar or use God’s name in vain. As I said, my dad read the Scriptures all of his adult life. He honestly believed he would be accepted by God because he lived a good life. But God didn’t reveal himself to my Dad until he was on his death bed and only then did all of his Bible reading open to him. At last he had learned of Christ. He was washed and cleansed and his guilt removed by the power of God. His sins were forgiven. The Spirit of God filled him with love for our heavenly Father and his Son. Dad is now in the arms of Jesus.

It is one thing to read of God’s love and his requirements and it is quite another thing to know God’s love in the inner man and to obey Him with loving obedience born out of the new heart.

1 John 2:20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.

1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Summary:

Scripture is designed to bring information, encouragement, equipping and transformation to God’s people. Transformation in Rom. 12:2 is a present passive imperative.

The following verses that make up this pericope (Rom. 12:1-8) make it clear that transformation is a reality that is accomplished primarily if not exclusively through our submission to and participation in ‘body life’ (cf. Bonhoeffer, Life Together).

When people do not know or have not embraced the purpose inherent and at the heart of the Great Commission they produce little or nothing of God’s intent for the church and they produce misery and discouragement for their shepherd.

Tragically it is my studied and well informed perspective based on 20+ years of wide exposure to hundreds/thousands of churches in America that these people are tragically and probably unregenerate.

They have not embraced the purpose.

They do not have a functional, measurable objective definition of a disciple. That being the case they have no metric to measure their transformation or lack of same because having one would shine the light of Truth on their real spiritual condition. No TRANSFORMATION means no REGENERATION. When a Pastor/Elder seeks to incorporate these essentials in ministry he is most often ‘thrown under the bus’ – – FIRED!

If he is a Faithful Shepherd, he must nevertheless honor God’s Word and do what God, not the people call him to do. (cf. John 6 – Jesus reduced the crowd from 5,000 to 12!)

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