We are purpose called and purpose inspired — not purpose driven. And when we answer the call of our purpose — to give our 2-word purpose expression — we are being on-purpose. As an On-Purpose Presenter, please don’t use “purpose driven” for the rationale given above and more below. Co-mingling two different brands will only confuse the very people you’re attempting to bring to clarity.
When drive turns to driven it deescalates into a dangerous, performance-based, striving swerve in the road ripe in frustration and sometimes rage.
In many circles, a driven person is applauded as one who is highly motivated to succeed at their endeavor. But what is the source of that motivation? At what cost to the person and those around them? A driven person, even a purpose driven one, is invariably inadequately motivated and can fall into pits of duress and distress with potentially harmful and hurtful unintended consequences due to lack of an inner control mechanism.
“Would you sooner respond to a calling upon your life or be driven to deliver? A 2-word purpose helps you know who you are so you’re more attuned to hearing that small quiet voice of a call.”Kevin W. McCarthy
The language of being “purpose driven” originates with The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For? by Pastor Rick Warren. A remarkable 33+ million copies have sold, yet not one person actually gets to know their purpose. They will get direction and ideas for expressing their purpose, but they don’t actually know their purpose except in the most generic sense.
With all due respect for and for all the good Pastor Rick Warren’s message provides its readers, The Purpose Driven Life does not actually help people identify and know their purpose in life. Instead, Warren offers five broad “purposes” of Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry, and Evangelism to explain why we’re here. In On-Purpose terms, these “purposes” are words best understood as mission areas or platforms for doing good. Had the book been called The Mission Driven Life, then the title and the message would be aligned.
When “driven” appears in scripture, it involves a litany of afflictions, expulsions, and calamities. We read of incidences where people are forcibly ousted from their homes and lands; an indignant Jesus drives money changers out of the temple; and a combative Jesus drives evil spirits from a man into swine, over a cliff, and a fall to their death. Driven is related to displacement, wars, repulsion, banishment, loss, upset, anger, and loss — words hardly what most of us seek for ourselves or those attending our programs.
Purpose is about our reason for being, our existence, or why am I here. A 2-word purpose statement, therefore, is as close to the power source as one can get.
Our words matter. As is often the case, however, a phrase like purpose driven gains traction in our popular culture. As people co-op it, they write their own understanding and concepts around it and muddle it further. Sadly, we live in a world where intellectual property rights are readily violated and concepts are misappropriated by well-meaning but ill-informed individuals who lack originality and must trade off of the brand and words of others. Purpose driven suffers such abuse.
Purpose driven is casually used in a variety of settings. It is popular so it sounds sanctioned and safe to the untuned ear. Let’s not confused the five church platforms for expression of purpose with purpose. Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry, and Evangelism are worthy missions, but to what purpose?
On-Purpose relies upon the presence of a 2-word purpose to inform why on earth you’re here. It enlivens and personalizes the notion for answering the what on earth are you here to do.
Purpose when accompanied by Vision, Missions, and Values provides a more complete and holistic knowledge of self as good and powerful. Expression of purpose is a response to a calling upon one’s life in the moment, in the planning, and in service. Purpose + Vision + Mission + Values powers up our energy and engagement so we’re on-purpose. It demands more reflection and thought. Do it because the quality and even the quantity of your life depends upon it.
Having engaged with ONPURPOSE.me, you know your 2-word purpose in life. You have the benefit of an alternative called being on-purpose. Here is a state of being, a place of grace and peace as in a home for the soul where resting in who you are is necessary and healthy. On-Purpose isn’t forced or performance based, yet resting in our purpose also stirs a restlessness to give expression to our purpose.
Application: On-Purpose and Purpose Driven may sound and seem alike because both contain the word purpose. A scratch below the surface, however, reveals two very different concepts.
Now you have a more informed choice to make between doing Purpose Driven or being On-Purpose. If you think it is just semantics, please reread the above and think again. Words have meaning and meaning matters. If you’re unchanged in your belief, then we refer you to www.purposedriven.com. Don’t straddle the fence!
We’re respectful of our purpose-driven colleagues, but we’re all about being on-purpose for reasons unstated and stated here. Join us if a 2-word purpose and being on-purpose rings true to your understanding.
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