Everything changes when we understand that we are sons and daughters of God.
"Wow, what are these?" a baby must wonder the first time he touches his toes. Eventually, he realizes that those toes belong to him. He's in wide-eyed awe, learning more about himself each day. As he continues to grow into adulthood, the wonder of those first moments of self-discovery fades, but he never ceases to learn more and more about the unique person God made him to be.
Similarly, the body of Christ is constantly growing and learning about its own identity. Through much sacrifice and discomfort, it has gained unprecedented influence in the world today.
The church started out teetering with a small band of timid disciples. These 12 men were initially double-minded about coming out of hiding after Jesus' death. Yet they emerged, the gospel was proclaimed, and the church was securely birthed.
Discovering God’s purpose for their lives should be your No. 1 youth-ministry task
What on earth am I here for?” That’s the question every teenager on the planet asks at one time or another. And while your youth ministry plays a variety of roles, helping students wrestle through this question is, in my experience, its most important task. (Helping your youth successfully toilet-paper the senior pastor’s house is a close second!)
At Saddleback Church, we’ve landed on the following simple phrase to help our teenagers recognize God’s purpose for their lives:
“I am here to express Christ, His kingdom, and the purposes of His church to the world around me.”
This month, I’ve been looking at multiple tools for looking at how people experience your church. Hopefully, these tools are helpful to you as you consider how you interact with people.
However, I think it is important to end the month of church health with the ultimate check up:
Does God show up?
When I first came to pastoral ministries, I was unfamiliar with the weekly rehash of Sunday morning. The pastor would start the conversation: “How did Sunday go?” For me, the only real question was this:
Did God show up?
Learning who God created you to be will help unlock His unique purpose for your life
God doesn’t create anything without value. He is the ultimate craftsman. And He designed you specifically to fulfill a unique role in His ultimate plan to establish His kingdom on earth.
Even though each of us has made mistakes, we still are a special work of the Creator’s hands. He even takes time to know about our day-to-day lives. In fact, He is smiling right now, rejoicing as you seek to discover the masterpiece you are to Him.
The Bible says we are God’s “masterpiece” and that He created us anew in Christ so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago (see Eph. 2:10, NLT).
This verse helps us understand that if we want to discover our mission or purpose in life, we first need to look at the masterpiece God has made us to be. While self-help books tell you to look within, the key to living the life you were meant for is to look to God and ask Him to help you discover your uniqueness.
After you discover who you are, then you can start figuring out what God has planned for you—the specific way He designed you to make a difference in the world for Him.
Here are three helpful steps for you to maximize your ministry with God and for God: (1) Embrace your S.H.A.P.E.; (2) Express your S.H.A.P.E. in service; (3) Empower others to do the same.
More than once I’ve led a team of evangelists in a series of crusades in Madras/Chennai, India. The last time I was there, the magnitude of the people’s needs was totally overwhelming. Every kind of sickness and disease imaginable was represented in the vast crowd that thronged to hear the Word of God.
It was amazing to see the response of these precious souls receiving the greatest miracle of all: the born-again experience. However, as I watched, a gnawing question rose up within my spirit. I recognized it as coming from the Lord, and it shook me to the very core of my being.
“When will I be presented to the multitudes today as I was presented yesterday? Have I changed in 2,000 years? Is it not still My desire to heal the sick and set the captives free?”