The Benefits of Leading on Purpose
By Ron Marsh
Christian leadership is faced with an incredible opportunity to help connect people with their purpose. The deep yearning each individual has to know why they exist and why they are here coupled with a life experience that offers more questions than answers leaves a formidable emptiness. Many have tried to find their purpose within their career only to find that pouring hours into the organization has left them missing the mark. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 60% of Americans hate their job, 30% tolerate it, and 10% actually enjoy their work. It’s evident that very few find a sense of purpose in their career where they spend the majority of their time. Unfortunately, the statistics for family and marriage satisfaction are even more alarming.
So how can a spiritual leader connect others with their God-given purpose?
Leaders by definition have two things: direction and influence. A leader has a sense of direction and finds themselves blazing the trial before others. In order to lead others in their journey of discovering and defining their purpose, a leader must first understand their own reason for existence. Most believers would agree that man’s reason for being here is generally defined by “knowing Him and making Him known.” While that is true, focusing upon our specific calling will bring greater fulfillment and impact. The leader’s ability to define and articulate their purpose in light of God’s agenda will provide clarity, direction, and stability within their ministry and paint a “picture of purpose” for those who are willing to follow their lead.
Once a leader is able to define their specific purpose, the challenge is to then draw the purposes of God out of the hearts of those they lead. Most leaders get tripped up when they allow the task to supersede the individuals and then by using their influence, they encourage people to serve/work where there’s a need rather than where there’s a calling. While this will work in the short term, the long term effect will eventually be burnout and frustration.
This process of drawing out the purposes of God in the hearts of individuals takes time, effort, and a serious dose of setting aside personal agendas. The clues to God’s agenda and His purpose for the organization are not only found in the leader but in the followers as well. Therefore, it’s vital that a leader help their followers tap into God’s purpose for their lives if they want to achieve God’s purpose as an organization.
Imagine if every person in your church or organization understood their life purpose and was actively pursuing it! Sure, there would be challenges, but at least you’d only be dealing with the challenges of pursuing and fulfilling His purpose rather than the challenge of finding it!
Here’s a great Purpose
Exercise you can use to help leaders and teams develop a sense of purpose.