God created us for a purpose; for something far greater and beyond ourselves.

Why is knowing your purpose important
Before I knew what I wanted to go to school for, I would just show up and go through the motions. Yeah, I was focused and excited to be there, knowing I would end up somewhere; but the direction in which I should go was just not clear. When I found out what I was going to major in, I was filled with energy and began to put extra effort forth, knowing where I was going and what I needed to do to get there; I began to live life in another realm.  Now, our purpose is not our jobs or what we do; but it is in our jobs and how we do them, as my Pastor says. We can do our jobs but if we are not using our jobs as a ministry to reach others’, then we are not living out our God-given purpose.; we are then living in a ME world which will quickly crumble.

Knowing your purpose
So how do you reach out to others’ and begin to know your God-given purpose?

First, seek God. Not for what He can do for you, but to have a relationship with Him. Begin to saturate yourself in His word and He will flow from you, throughout your daily life and interactions with others’.  As you get to know the Lord, you will desire more and more of what He desires and wants for your life.

When you see a need; fill a need.  This applies to all but if you don’t know what you are good at or where you belong; this is a great place to start. If you see a need as simple as picking up trash, fill it. See the need for nursery volunteers, fill it. See the need for a hungry child that needs to be fed, fill it. As you go about filling needs, you will begin to learn more about who you are and what God has planned for you.

God gives us each a unique purpose; no matter what yours is, each of us is put here to love one another as Christ loves us through our purpose. So let us go about reaching out and building strong relationships not built on envy and judging one another but on love and understanding; living out our God-given purpose.

Ashley Fordinal is the Children’s Church volunteer at Family Life Church in Sulphur Springs, TX.

How We Do What We Do

Josh Griffin —  August 29, 2012 — 3 Comments

It will come as no surprise to most of you that we have a very specific strategy concerning our approach to youth ministry. While your paradigm/process/strategy/purpose (call it whatever the heck you want) may look different than ours, having an easily articulated method to your madness is worth considering. Our youth ministry is centered around three simple “arenas” we think are ultra important in teenagers lives. Right now all of our youth ministry programs fit into one of these three arenas, each with a very specific purpose:

LARGE GROUP: We want to EXPOSE students to Christ, his kingdom and the 5 Purposes.

PRIMARY PROGRAM: Weekend Worship Services
Our weekend services are designed to give students a taste of what the church is all about and an entry-level chance to be exposed to the teachings of Jesus. All students are welcome, and the message is designed to have applications for seekers and the sold out. The services have a high level of student involvement with adults only in the most critical roles (teaching, etc). This is our most visible program to the public and also the most visible to the pastoral leadership of the church as well.

SMALL GROUP: We want students to EXPERIENCE Christ, his kingdom and the 5 Purposes with others.

Our small group program meets during the week (on Tuesday or Wednesday nights) and divides up the large group into groups of 8-10 students. Groups are ideally made up of teenagers in the same grade, gender and geography enabling them to form a strong community through their high school years. Every group has an adult leader who leads the discussion and teaches a curriculum that’s separate from the large group program. Our goal is that a student goes beyond simple exposure to Christ but will begin to experience discipleship, ministry, and community.

INDIVIDUAL LIFE: Ultimately, we hope students will EXPRESS Christ, his kingdom and the 5 Purposes through their lifestyle.

PRIMARY PROGRAM(S): Grow booth, missions trips, events, serve projects
Basically in this arena we have a ton of options that students can choose as an individual. They’ve been exposed to Christ at the entry-level program, they experience Christ in a small group—now they have the chance to express or live out their faith in a myriad of choices presented to them at this level. We offer lots of Serve opportunities and resources to help students grow, and a few key events/camps throughout the year as well.

What does your process look like? Share it in the comments!

This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.