Many years ago, Rick Warren wrote a book called The Purpose Driven Church. He followed it up with his enormously popular book The Purpose Driven Life. In each of those books, he introduced his readers to the idea of living and doing Church with a purpose. He wanted each follower of Christ and each Church to be driven to do all the things God desires.
He stated that his study leads him to believe we each have 5 Purposes:
I have read the Bible and done my share of study, and I think that is a great list. I really have no idea what anyone could add. Each of us is designed to love God, connect with other believers, grow in our faith, serve other people and share the message of God’s grace.
The problem is that most of the people I know, including myself, tend to focus on two of these areas.
First, we have our primary strength. Some of us love to play music and sing. Others of us prefer to visit and connect with other believers, and still, others love to read and learn more about the ways of God.
Second, we each have a secondary area of interest. We might want to read and study, but we also like teaching what we are learning. We may love to worship and sing, but we like to involve other people into the place we serve.
I would encourage everyone to spend some time thinking about how God has gifted you and where you really are designed to fit.
Also, this means there are three areas we tend to neglect. For example, I love to learn and to teach, but I am not very good at connecting to other people. I like worship, but I get tired of singing. I enjoy sharing my faith, but it does not come naturally to me.
If this is all correct, and I believe it is, then let me give you two important thoughts.
1. Be sure not to completely ignore your areas of weakness. I am not telling you that need to become an expert in things you do not care much about. I am telling you that each of us should desire to be a total follower of Christ, not lacking in anything. Once you know your strengths, you will also know your weaknesses. Be sure to plan some time working on those weaker areas and developing fully as God desires for each one of us.
2. Don’t judge people for not being like you. Just because I do not get excited about worship does not mean I am inferior Christian. God just wired me up differently than you. You may not be a person who likes to read and study, and that does not make you less of a Christian than I am. We each are unique in our heart and gifts. No one is greater than another.
Together the Church is a picture of a complex body. We each have different parts for the overall good of everyone. I encourage all believers to discover their strengths and weaknesses so that we might be a Church and believers who are completely whole.