I am currently doing a new programme of weightlifting designed by a fantastic top level body builder. One of his catchphrases is “Train With Purpose”. His idea is that you don’t just walk into a gym and do what you feel, but you plan everything with a purpose so that every exercise and every rep helps you fulfill your goals.
It’s a simple idea but a powerful one. I think it is something every Christian needs to take notice of. Because I see a lot of activity in the church today that has no purpose. It isn’t making us stronger, it isn’t extending the kingdom, it isn’t building up Christians or the body of Christ. It’s just activity without fruit.
Pastors – how many meetings do you have each week? Ask yourself what is the purpose for those meetings. Are they extending the kingdom? Are they building people – are they helping people’s hearts? At Tree of Life we have two meetings a week, one big and one small for people to attend. Because both have a purpose for helping and feeding people’s souls. I’ve seen churches with meetings every night – how can someone live a life of love and wisdom if they are never at home? That’s missing the purpose.
I’ve seen people who want to go and plant a church go to Bible Colleges where not one of the staff has ever planted a church. They leave the Tree of Life family which has planted six churches and is about to plant more and has loads of experience in planting new churches and go somewhere that has no church planting experience because it is called a college. These people have failed to understand purpose. If you want to go into ministry stop and think about what kind of ministry then find a place to train on purpose, there is no one size fits all solution.
I’ve been to churches where they have a particular order of service that to me doesn’t serve the people. I will ask the pastor why things are done in that order, and no one knows. It is a tradition, not on purpose. Things need to be thought through.
Often things that were originally initiated because of a strong sense of purpose have lost their purpose. They are now being done because of tradition and they are done mindlessly. Stop and think about why you do things, it will make you a more effective leader.