A Purposeful Spiritual Life, part 5

Mike Tyson, one of the greatest boxers in history earned over $400M in his career, but managed to file for bankruptcy in 2003 with debts of $27M. He is not alone. Mega-stars Scottie Pippen, Johnny Unitas, Lenny Dykstra, Lawrence Taylor, and Tony Gwynn all filed bankruptcy after careers that netted them hundreds of millions of dollars.[i] How is that possible?

Ex-athletes and soldiers struggle with life after the playing field and battle field for the same reason: their careers afford them a sense of individual and collective purpose that is difficult to replace.[ii]

We have been walking through the impact of living a purposeful spiritual life. It is my contention that many of us live directionless spiritual lives and unsurprisingly have little sense of satisfaction, growth, or purpose in our spiritual walk. Such purpose is not only psychologically important, it is biblical. We’re not called to run our spiritual race aimlessly, but purposefully.[iii]

Last week we talked about how to shape your personal mission statement through the lens of two sets of questions, one directed more at our vocation and the other directed more at our character and legacy. My hope is that you have taken some time to dig into how you answer those questions and where you think God may have placed the goal for your spiritual race.

If not, I hope that maybe offering my own statement might help you jump start yours. The purpose of sharing my statement isn’t to suggest that I’ve got it down. Far from it. I continue to tweak my statement yearly as I more fully understand God, my identity, and my purpose. But I do hope that sharing my own statement helps you along that path. You will see that my personal mission statement is followed by an abbreviated version of how that mission statement is teased out in the areas of responsibility Christ has called me to. I offer it so that you can see how I have sought to create a destination and path in my own spiritual life that I believe Christ is calling me to. I hope you find it helpful in discovering yours.

As you write your own statements, I would love to hear from you: feel free to post your statement below or send it to me via email. Blessings on your journey!


Personal Mission Statement

I am called to delight in God through a life poured out in love for God and for people.

Formerly a slave to the world, I am now a slave to God and his righteousness (Rms 6:18,22), a son of God (Rms 8:14, 15; Gal 3:26, 4:6), united with Christ (1 Cor 6:17), and his joint heir (Rms 8:17). I am his ambassador (Eph 6:20), called to glorify God with all I do and purposed to uniquely love, protect, and lead first my wife, then our children, and then the flock. I have been given gifts and a calling to boldly proclaim the gospel (Eph 6:19), under-shepherd and lead God’s people (1 Pet 5:2), and to have a lasting impact on our neighborhood, Oro Valley, and Tucson (Acts 1:8) by giving myself to their service (Mt 20:28) and generously giving my time, treasure, and talents (1 Tim 6:17-19) to impact the well-being and flourishing of those spheres particularly in the areas of spiritual community (Eph 5:15-21) and orphan care (Jms 1:27).


Areas of responsibility:


1.      Physical: for the good of my family, maintain my health through regular exercise and healthy eating.

a.      Goal: work out at least three times a week.

2.      Intellectual: for the good of my family and those I serve, to study earnestly and diligently, growing in my understanding.

a.      Goal: to read yearly 26 books (at least 3 theological and 3 fiction)

b.      Goal: sharpen Greek and Hebrew skills via Daily Dose of Greek and other books/online tutorials.

3.      Emotional: for the good of my family and those I serve, maintain good emotional health through meaningful relationships (starting with Angel and then the kids), physical, spiritual, and intellectual health.

4.      Spiritual: continue growing in my relationship with Christ through rhythms of earnest and daily prayer, study of scripture, fasting, worship, Sabbath, and learning.

a.      Goal: protect Sabbath days.

b.      Goal: fast quarterly.

c.       Goal: continue M’Cheyne (or other) Bible in a year reading plan every year.

d.      Goal: continue to memorize scripture: at least 8 verses a month.

5.      Social: maintain a healthy social life, serving as a hub of social life for our neighborhood, maintaining healthy relationships with family, growing friendships, and reaching out to unbelievers.

a.      Goal: have at least one extended family meal and one friend over for a meal a month.

b.      Goal: maintain bi-monthly neighborhood potlucks, intentionally reaching out to neighbors.

6.      Financial: providing for the financial needs of our family and helping us maintain a balanced, generous, and God-glorifying budget.

a.      Goal: continue to increase tithe additional 1% every year.


1.      Spiritual: maintain healthy daily rhythms of family worship and prayer, leading our family in consistent and meaningful spiritual conversations.

a.      Goal: have daily family worship at least five days a week.

2.      Orphan Care: faithfully continuing in God’s call for us to care for the orphan by keeping our home open to serve the fatherless in a foster or adoptive role.

3.      Balance: ensuring that our family is not overcommitted in any area (social events, sports events, or other) and that there is healthy time of Sabbath.

4.      Fun: making sure our home is a place of fun, filled with laughter, games, and silliness.

a.      Goal: make sure we have at least one game time a week with family.


1.      Preaching: faithfully and creatively expositing God’s word to New Life, including thoughtful consideration of preaching calendar.

a.      Goal: watch and evaluate my own sermons quarterly.

b.      Goal: read at least one preaching book a year.

2.      Campus Launch: preparing for the Oro Valley campus launch through learning, building relationships, raising funds, raising up a team, and leading well.

3.      Care: maintaining and growing systems of care and rhythms of pastoral care that ensure healthy shepherding of the people at New Life.

4.      Learn: grow as a pastor by learning from books and relationships.

5.      Outreach: sharpen, catalyze, and lead New Life’s outreach initiatives and participate as I’m called in those initiatives, particularly in the area of orphan care.

6.      Executive Leadership Team: help lead the church in a biblical, shepherding, and visionary capacity.

a.      Goal: create staff culture statement.

b.      Goal: revamp staff evaluations.


Photo credit: Johann Walter Bantz/Unsplash


[i] http://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/athletes/athletes-bankrupt/

[ii] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201307/the-power-purpose

[iii] 1 Corinthians 9:26

For more on the Purposeful Spiritual Life Series, see:

Part 1: A Purposeful Spiritual Life, part 1

Part 2: A Purposeful Spiritual Life, part 2

Part 3: A Purposeful Spiritual Life, part 3

Part 4: A Purposeful Spiritual Life, part 4

Part 5: A Purposeful Spiritual Life, part 5