"Unleash the Word"
It's common in American culture to talk about "personal mission statements" and finding our "calling" or that primary thing we're "about." The basic idea is that every individual has a contribution they can make. As God's image bearers, not only does every life have value; every life has purpose. On a macro-scale, that purpose is to glorify God and follow the lead He gives humanity all the way back in Genesis - to create and cultivate (e.g. Genesis 1:28; 2:15).
But I believe God's purposes for us also warrant individual, micro-scale consideration. How has God uniquely built me to bring Him glory and cultivate the things I can? What passions do I have that - after honest searching - I feel are from God? To paraphrase the famous words of Frederick Buechner, where does my greatest joy meet the world's great needs?
For me, this has been (and continues to be) a process. The stuff I'm "about" has stayed broadly consistent over a long period of time, but the image continues to get sharper as I keep going (and as near as I can tell). In a short phrase, a statement that galvanizes me like very few other things do is this: "Unleash the Word." Here (very briefly) is a lot of what this involves:
"Unleashing the Word" Publicly
This is the "up front" teaching that I do - either the times I preach or (more frequently) the times I'm teaching in a classroom setting. This is where I love to present and interact around biblical and theological truth.
"Unleashing the Word" Interpersonally
The picture here is sitting across from others in a coffee shop or Community Group. The teaching isn't formal, but the conversation - everyone is ideally engaged and involved - revolves are understanding, loving, and obeying God's Word. In this setting, God's Word can be applied to specific situations more easily, and individual misunderstandings can be identified and untangled.
"Unleashing the Word" Privately
The setting here is an individual with his or her Bible, spending time in individual reading of and reflection on Scripture. I want people to want to be in God's Word on their own, and I want to equip them so they're eager and able to mine God's Word on their own for so many of its benefits.
In all of this, there are things I'm aiming for. I'm working to help form disciples, faithfully present truth, further learning, frame topics, and fix misunderstandings. I also want to fuel a desire to learn more, and have fun in all of it.
Ultimately? I just want to "unleash the Word." And this is consistent with what we read in the book of Acts, where the Word of God is personified a few times - the Word of God spreads, flourishes, and prevails (check it out in Acts 6:7; 12:24; 13:49; 19:20).
OK - you've heard me share some of what I'm "about." Does identifying and pursuing your own calling interest you? If so, two names to know (that have helped me) are Michael Hyatt and Matt Perman.
Last thing: Two other books to have on your radar screen about this idea of "vocation" and "calling" broadly are Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today by Mark Labberton and Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work by Timothy Keller.
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Christian. Husband. Father. Pastor. Learner. Contributor. Reader.