“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,….” Ephesians 4:11-12
The best selling book, Purpose Driven Life, written by Rick Warren in 2002, begins with the question, “What on Earth am I here for?” Years before this book was written I had the pleasure of meeting Pastor Rick at a Leadership Network event at Wooddale Church in Minneapolis, MN. After the conference, I taught a 10-week course on the Purpose Driven Life based on a sermon series of the same name. The outcome for me was to write a personal mission statement for my life that, in summary says, “My life's purpose is to help others be the best they can be.”
That mission statement still sits on a shelf in my office. The blessing for me is that this simple mission statement exercise has turned out to be central into how God has called me to live my life, in service for him. That has been a great blessing to me and my family.
One of the HIM board members often says to me “where’s the fruit”. Signifying that the measure of the fruit is the work we have been doing, to “build the ministry and the body of Christ.”
I share these two stories with you because Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus directs us to do the same as believers. Some are called to teach and others to evangelism while others are called to the PURPOSE that God has revealed to them in their life.
At that same network event I met a man named Bob Buford. Although he is gone now, through a few meetings with him and his profound writings, I am humbled to say, as Bob would, “The fruit of my work, the fruit of my ministry is found on the trees of others around me”.
My prayer is that you and I, your church or para-church, HIM or mission will continue to equip the flock, so that we will see the fruit as the body of Christ is built-up for the work ahead. Amen.
To God Be the Glory,