One the most frequently asked questions of Melissa and I is how do I find my purpose? It’s often worded in different ways, but the crux of the question is always the same. How do I find out what I am supposed to do or be doing? The answer, well, I wish it were as simple as me telling you exactly what it is that you are supposed to be doing.
Let me tell you of my experience. I grew up in church but we didn’t have the all the teams, kids ministries and youth ministries that most larger churches have. We had ushers, but they were the older gentleman in the church, andwe had a Pastor! Other than that, one of the only other opportunities was to be a musician. So, I picked up playing the guitar. Essentially, I just picked up a guitar. Playing it? Well, that is highly questionable! Nevertheless, I wanted to play the guitar because I wanted to be involved and I wanted to make a difference. After a few years of that, my church started a puppet ministry! I got involved, but I wasn’t even qualified to be a puppeteer. No, I got to be the background scene changer extraordinaire. Ok, so I was the guy who changed the background out after each song. Nonetheless, I was involved. It wasn’t fancy, but it was what I could do.
Who would have ever thought that being the background changer would lead to being the Senior Pastor of Southern Illinois Worship Center? God! Let me briefly show you the path. It’s a cold fall night in Northern Indiana… oops, I did say briefly. Okay, back to the story! One night, we had a power failure during the puppet show and somebody needed to stall the service so we could reset the power. I got the summons to head out front, and stall. Called from the backstage of the puppet ministry to right out in front of the crowd. The pastor of the church where we were putting on the show, watched as I stalled the crowd for the power reset. In that moment, God opened a door for me. A little over a year later, I was the new youth pastor at that church.
While at that church I met Melissa, who was friends with the pastor’s son and daughter in-law. Melissa and I married and I moved to Portland, Indiana where my new in-laws pastored a church. I joined the ministry staff there. At that place, I served in numerous areas including Children’s ministry, youth ministry, jail ministry, nursing home ministry, vacation bible school, and then we began a ministry of serving the city. I lead and served in every ministry that I could.
All that time I was serving in the church, God was training and preparing me! Not only at the church, but also at the company I worked for. Every opportunity that my company presented, I took it. Some were fun, some were miserable, some I loved, and some I couldn’t wait to love something else. It was the same thing in the church! Every opportunity that came, I took it! Some I loved, some not so much. The opportunities I loved, I stayed with! The opportunities I didn’t love, I found somebody else to love it because there is always someone that loves what you don’t. That allowed me to spend more time on what I did love and have a passion for.
In other words, I served until I found where I actually belonged. I wouldn’t have known what I liked or didn’t like, unless I had at least tried it. From those experiences, God was preparing me for the place I am now. I can tell you I served my way into being Senior Pastor.
The area where I serve today, touched every area that I served in earlier in my life. I absolutely believe that had I turned down being the background changer for the puppet ministry, I wouldn’t be where I am today. That began the proverbial domino effect in my life. Each time I would serve God opened another door, and each door was one step closer to the ultimate purpose God had for my life.
If you want to find your purpose, serve your way into it! The bible says whatever you are doing, you should do it as unto the Lord! When you serve like that, God will properly position youto fulfill the purpose He has for you.
No doubt, like me, you’ll have some serving places you love and some not so much. The ones you love are an indicator that you are in your purpose spot. Serve there with all your heart. You will find fulfillment when you serve in your purpose. Serve until you find your purpose and once you find it, you won’t call it serving anymore! You’ll call it living!
Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”
Jeremiah 29:11 “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
Philippians 2:13 “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
Romans 8:28 “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
John 10:10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”