A Family Intent On One Purpose
Last May, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Israel as part of my studies with Shiloh University as a Masters of Divinity student. It was a jammed packed time of sight-seeing, lectures, and meaningful fellowship with those in the group I was traveling with. I will never forget the time I spent walking the streets of Jerusalem and touring the historical sites of the Holy Land. Although seeing the real life sites of the Bible stories I knew well was incredible, what really struck me was the sense of purpose and destiny that the Jewish people displayed in their everyday lives and families. The Jews have a unified purpose to keep God’s word and that purpose is directly tied to the land of Israel.
My time in Israel made me look at what is the common purpose of Living Word Community Church. Having a unified goal or vision is a very important ingredient for the church. Paul says in Philippians 2:2, “Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose” (NASB). This verse describes the ideal atmosphere for the believing community; same mind, same love, one purpose, united in spirit.
The interesting thing about the Philippian church was that it started as a support to Paul’s ministry (Philippians 1:5, 5:14-16). The expression of that purpose might have changed, but the foundation of the Philippian church was to share with Paul in the furthering of the Gospel. Like the Philippian church, there have been many expressions of our purpose, but the objective is still the same. Our common purpose is and will always be the Lordship of Jesus Christ over every aspect of our lives. We may have different expressions of this one purpose, but our hearts are set like Paul to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). As pastor of Living Word Community Church, I will continue challenging our concepts and perceived attitudes by asking, “Is this accomplishing our common purpose?” Looking forward with this intent in mind is the best way to bring a common vision. I am so grateful that my recent trip to Israel has emboldened my faith to live with a greater sense of purpose and share that purpose with my church family.