The Importance of Having Purpose
It’s true, 2011 was a tough year for the U.S. economically and even tougher on a personal level to a great majority. Many people lost jobs, gave up on getting new jobs, lost homes, lost their savings and retirement, while others were sent to Iraq or Afghanistan to serve for at least one tour of duty if not more. One thing is sure, a majority of us were forced to move or change in ways we were not mentally or physically prepared to do. In the face of hardship, finding purpose can be one of the toughest things to do. But it is essential to resilience. It is essential to Christianity.
A December 28, 2011, Charisma News article, “Half of Non-Churchgoers Don’t Believe They Have Purpose”, by Chris Turner, reports that a recent LifeWay Research study proposes “Americans with even a slight curiosity about an ultimate purpose to life are more likely to participate in worship services, while half of those who never attend church never wonder about life’s ultimate purpose.”
It goes on to state, “It is no wonder that many … are unengaged in church activity when they don’t believe an exclusive purpose exists for their own lives – in other words, why go to church to learn about God’s plan if you don’t think there is one.”
This is a seemingly negative perspective, but it can also be seen as opportunity for growth. It’s the beginning of a new year, 2012 and the perfect time to set new goals—a time to evaluate your purpose as a Christian. What will be your purpose for this year? What will you do to change your future or the future of others?
Many are considering going back to school to finish a degree or further their education and/or career with a graduate degree. A Christian education can help many reach their goals while reinforcing the benefits of ethical thinking. Attending class either online or in a classroom setting with a faith-based curriculum is, for many, a safe environment to worship freely while gaining knowledge. Gathering with others to discuss not only assignments but also how to live a Christian lifestyle and minister to others.
LifeWay is seeing a trend in research among 18-29 year-olds and their diverse views of spirituality—an area for potential growth in the coming years for those interested in ministry. In the book Lost and Found, Ed Stetzer reports that 89 percent of young adults who never attended church agreed when asked, “If someone wanted to tell me what he or she believed about Christianity, I would be willing to listen.” This same demographic had a positive response to the question, “There is more to life than the physical world and society,” with 88 percent in agreement.
With information like this it seems that a vital generation are open to thinking in broader terms than just their immediate surroundings. Ministry is a powerful and important characteristic of being a Christian. And there is a definite need in our society to help others find purpose in life through the virtues of Christianity, serving others and employing ethical thinking. We can all benefit from a more considerate and empathetic society that serves a higher purpose.
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