All organizations exist to make people’s lives better. Now that doesn’t mean that all organizations make people’s lives better in major, transformational ways, nor that they make all people’s lives better. Nonetheless, every organization must contribute in some way to a better world for some group of people, because if it doesn’t, it will, and should, go out of business.
— Patrick Lencioni

There seems to be a great swelling tide of purpose.  This weekend, a friend of mine referred yet another website on the topic, another wave as it were, crashing on the shore of humanity.  As Uncle Oswald (Chambers) says:

“Launch all on God, go out on the great swelling tide of His purpose, and you will get your eyes open.”

The reason that it seems so prevalent, so ubiquitous in virtually every corner of society, should not surprise us.  We were all uniquely created for it and collectively, we are called to the same.  Lencioni and the TableGroup folks make an incredibly compelling case for organizational purpose in the book, "The Advantage."  In just the last week, I was forced to deal with the reality and implications of this with:

  • My home church
  • A company where I do inside coaching
  • A client where I do outside coaching
  • My family

Every significant conversation out of every aggregation of people eventually finds themselves in a similar place.

Who are we?  

Why do we exist?

Where will we land on the important issues given the answer to those questions?

The answer to the bigger questions influence all the others.  Getting clear on those answers will ultimately impact who you hire, fire, marry, and every other significant decision.  With purpose clarified, the perfect storm of uncertainty, disconnectedness, fear, and even the most challenging circumstances become opportunities and determinant guideposts toward a richer and more impactful path forward.

It has always been important, but if we are going to inspire our children and the Millenial generation that many of us employ (and will comprise over 50% of the workforce in a few short years), we’d better get crystal clear.  Jesus says,

“In this life you will have trouble.”

Have had it.  Will have it.  Will likely find it around the next corner.  Pervasively.  But He goes on to say from there…

“But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

I used to claim that as a future promise… an inheritance that I would likely one day receive, but didn’t have determinable impact on my day-to-day.  It was almost as if all my troubles would comically get “left behind” one day.  Like in all things Kingdom, our enemy has robbed what was meant presently, and placed it comfortably out of our grasp.

But purpose isn’t meant as merely a future inheritance, but an intended condition to enjoy in the here and now.  In reality, what He was saying was something like:

There is trouble in this fallen world, but I have come for you.  I intend grander things for you than you could hope or imagine.  Discovering what is precious, unique, and intended for your life will change everything.  It will allow you to live an impactful and transformative life that transcends and operates above every circumstance of this world.  It is one of the great treasures of the Kingdom that I intend for all, but few really find.

A broken and desperate world is providing desperate answers to the big questions.  Will the life you live, the way you love and lead, provide a better one?

So, I have a few questions for you to consider:

  1. Are you launching all on God?  (Not as a philosophical nod that always agrees with what is supposed to be true… but really)
  2. Are you on the great swelling tide of His purpose? (The proof of question one)
  3. Is it obvious to the people around you? (Our kids, employees, and most Millenials, will likely not hear anything we have to say, but carefully observe everything we do… and just possibly follow)