I have been professionally coaching for 18 years now. I Love what I do. It’s a real joy to work with all kinds of people as I come along side helping them get to where they believe God wants them to be and where they’d like to be in life and work.
I spend quite a bit of time with my clients helping them draft a personal purpose statement and then formulate both key results they’d like to see happen and craft a game plan on how they’d like to pursue these results.
Lately I’ve been noticing something. Perhaps it’s been there all long and I never saw it clearly or perhaps this has been happening more and more of late.
Here it is!
Many leaders seem to think and plan more in terms of generalities than specifics.
They have a general sense of their purpose and goals, but they don’t have enough specificity to give them momentum and help them ascertain if they’re on track or not or If they’re successful or not.
A created purpose statement that’s too general might look like this:
I’m secure as a son of God and love myself and other as He wants me to so as to have joy and satisfaction in helping people.
Any leader could write this.
Here are some questions to ask in order to ascertain a more specific life purpose:
- What exactly am I burdened about?
- What exactly keeps me awake at night?
- What specific problem or cause out there could I be the answer to?
- What specific gift(s) and experience has God given me which I bring to the table?
- What kinds of people do I want to impact—kids, youth, young adults, couples, older people, hurting people, very gifted people, poor people, rich people, etc.
- How do I want to influence/impact them, teach them, equip them, challenge them, train them, encourage them, counsel them, clothe and feed them?
Move from general ideas to specific ideas. You can’t do everything or be there for everyone, but by answering the above questions you can focus and do some things for some people.
Not that any of you reading this need to do what I do, but here is my specific purpose statement:
My purpose is to help develop, equip and empower leaders in local churches so they finish their race well. I will do this by coaching, writing and teaching.
My target is leaders in churches. I have very specific things I do with them so they finish well (2 Timothy 4:7). I coach them individually. I write with them in mind. I teach at leadership conferences giving them ideas and putting tools/resources in their hands. Most all of my time is specifically focused on coaching, writing and teaching with leaders in mind.
Having a clear and specific purpose helps leaders know how they should use their time, talents and treasure to make a significant impact. The purpose statement can serve as a map, a compass, a blue print.
Vision and specific goals will flow out of a God-given purpose.
First Purpose, then Vision, then Goals.
I make a distinction between goals and a God-given vision of desired results. I encourage those I coach to set ministry/work goals in terms of behavior not in terms of results as they don’t control the results. God is the “Lord of the Harvest.” It starts with purpose, then vision (a dream, a desire of what you’d like to see God do) then determining what you can and will do as you trust Him for it to actually happen.
Some examples of specific goals in terms of behavior:
1. I will select and build a team by _______ date
2. I will develop my team members by identifying current needs they have and giving them tools and resources
3. I will make contact with 10-15 people asking them to contribute the funds we currently need
4. I will set aside 30 minutes a day to pray and seek God for what He wants to do in my current situation.
The problem with being too general and not specific enough is that If you aim for nothing you’ll hit it every time. If you don’t know specifically where you want to go or want to be, you’ll more than likely end up somewhere else and not know how you got there!
- God has a specific plan for you which is not like everyone else’s
- God has given you specific gifts/talents
- God has given you specific experiences
- God has given you a specific family of origin
- God has given you a specific personality
He will use all of these in helping you to be laser-focused in making your unique and best contribution to His kingdom purposes.
Be yourself, everyone else is taken!
The more you’re like yourself, the less you’re like everyone else and that’s what makes you unique. The more you try to be like everyone else the less you’re like yourself and that’s what makes you average. I would rather be unique than average and will assume you would as well.