It’s always interesting how things evolve and grow. For me this journey started to take direction in late 2011 when a friend and I signed up to a gym because we both wanted to get fitter. I was overweight, unhealthy and knew something needed to change. That decision to get physically fit soon turned into a decision to get healthier in all aspects of my life; I wanted to be physically, mentally and spiritually fit. Through spending time in the Bible, Hebrews 12:1-2 became a life verse to me. It says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” To me running the race meant being holistically healthy and encouraging others to do the same. In the intervening years a lot has happened, including meeting my amazing wife and getting married. Over that time this vision has expanded from being about health to being about purpose, and as a result The Purposed Initiative was born. It this post I want to give a bit of an overview of The Purposed Initiative and its key elements, and then over the coming weeks touch on each of these elements in individual posts.
So why are we focused on purpose? Oxford dictionaries define purpose as “The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists” and “A person’s sense of resolve or determination”. In other words, purpose is why we are here and what drives us to keep going. Purpose gives us both meaning and momentum. When we know our purpose, we can use it as a reference point for decision making. We can use it for assessing whether something is worthwhile or not by whether us helps us pursue our purpose or hinders us. This makes purpose an important element of our lives, and the choice to be purposed a key decision. By choosing to pursue our purpose, we choose to make the effort to make the most of our lives.
The first element of The Purposed Initiative is Be Purposed, which I posted a blog about on New Year’s Eve. While it may sound like a simple step, choosing to be purposed is one of the biggest and most important decisions we can make. Be Purposed encourages us to do this by choosing purpose, pursuing purpose and living out purpose. I encourage you to go and read the Be Purposed blog to find out more.
The second element of The Purposed Initiative is purposeful relationships. The relationships we have with other people are some of the most important influences in our lives, so it’s important that we are intentional about these. This is particularly true when looking at our intimate relationships. The Purposed Initiative addresses healthy relationships through two programs, Choose Well and Show Love. Choose Well encourages us to be intentional about who we choose to enter into intimate relationships with through discerning character, understanding compatibility and the importance of community. Show Love aims to give us the skills for healthy, solid relationships by looking at eight different positive relationship behaviours: Saying thank you, having time, opening up, working together, listening and learning, offering grace, valuing difference and expecting growth. These are behaviours which demonstrate mutual respect and therefore don’t only help strengthen our intimate relationships, but can also be applied more broadly to other relationships.
The next element of The Purposed Initiative is Break Free, a program designed to help us free ourselves of the things which hold us back and slow us down. Hebrews 12:1 tell us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles”, and through looking at the story of Peter’s escape from prison in Acts 12 Break Free helps to identify different types of challenges that we face and how God can help us get through them if we let Him.
The final element of The Purposed Initiative is Stand and Fight. Pursuing and living out our purpose isn’t always going to be easy and there will be times where we face opposition to what we are trying to do. Stand and Fight looks at the Armour of God as described in Ephesians 6 and how the different elements relate to who we are fighting for and against, how we fight and what we use to fight. This is then applied to how we can tackle the challenges we face in living out our purpose.
Over the next few weeks we will take a deeper look at each of these areas, beginning with Choose Well. We will explore the importance of each of the aspects of The Purposed Initiative and how they can help you live out your purpose. We invite you to come on this journey with us, to explore with us what it means to run the race God has laid out for you through being purposed, having purposed relationships, finding freedom from the things that hold you back, and to fight for your purpose when things get tough. Through this journey we believe that by embracing the pursuit of your purpose you will find the ultimate way to live your life to the full.