Engage

Living with Singular Purpose

Ephesians 4:11-13
“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”


Ephesians 4:11-13
“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

I’ve had the privilege of being “in ministry” for twelve years. Most of the time has been spent on a church staff but the last few years have been at a Christian college and I now find myself at a non-profit organization.

Between these stints I completed graduate studies at seminary and have spent numerous hours studying secular communication and marketing training so that I can grow in my knowledge of culture, technology, as well as my job. As roles and responsibilities increased I have found that I migrated away from a focus on the foundation and purpose of my work to a focus on results, assessments and measurements. My joy was replaced with duty. I found myself further from the “trenches” and felt as if I watched the action from the press box rather than the sideline.

Yesterday I attended a seminar on giving/development. In actuality it was a bible study on the Christian life. I returned home more refreshed and encouraged than I have in years … more hopeful about the purpose and impact of my life.

Essentially, I was reminded that although effectiveness is important, it is not the purpose for what I do. I do my work, any work, because I want to see others grow in the fullness of Christ. My work is not about me. My work is not about the organization. At its very core, my work is not even about the service I offer but whether the service is a window that reveals Christ.

I’ve learned these concepts before and yet they are new again today. My work and experience afford me a new appreciation and understanding of the necessity for this simple but essential orientation.

We are raised into leadership so that we can prepare people for works of mercy that provide a means of grace for them to grow and mature. These people are our colleagues, leaders, volunteers, recipients of charitable service … everyone. We must not underestimate our daily responsibility for every person that is within our sphere of influence.

Do you view your role for the solemn purpose of preparing people to grow in maturity of the fullness of God?

Do you own the responsibility that God has brought specific people into your life for a purpose: the poor and rich, the lowly and high, the educated and uneducated … the list can go on.

Do you focus on one person or group within your daily sphere to the exclusion of another? How should this change?

Today, may we serve and teach others out of the overflow of our own life so that they, too, can know the fullness of Christ.

What a fun and exciting privilege we have.

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Christy McFarland

Christy currently serves as the Director of Public Affairs at Crichton College in Memphis, Tennessee. Crichton is a Christian, liberal arts college committed to equipping students to think critically, grow spiritually, and change their world. Prior to moving to Memphis, Christy served as the Minister of Local Outreach and Assistant Minister to Singles at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas, Texas. She is a graduate of Rhodes College and Dallas Theological Seminary. Christy’s passion is to see individuals encouraged and equipped to fully live and exploit their unique calling, gifts, and talents, thus, allowing the Church be a strong, incarnational, evangelical presence within the local and global communities. She has a twin brother who serves as a missionary in Europe and a younger brother who lives in Dallas, Texas with his new wife (a match for which Christy claims full responsibility).  Her mother and step-father live in Memphis, Tennessee and father and step-mother live in Quebec City, Quebec.