INTRODUCTION TO THE GATHERINGS FOR PARTICIPANTS
The On-Purpose Person is the star of your small group experience. The guide, On-Purpose Peace, is the supporting actor whose role is to provide deeper insights and application to the Christian reader. On-Purpose is the means; peace is the final effect. This said, you begin with On-Purpose Peace page 13 for your first Gathering. There is no pre-Gathering assignment, although many participants like to read The On-Purpose Person in advance to get a sense of the overall flow of the adventure before you embark on the journey.
The On-Purpose Person is a Modern Parable, not one of biblical importance, but one with a biblical foundation and prescedence. Jesus taught in parables so He could speak to diverse listeners in ways and with words that were culturally familiar and respectful of their perspectives and backgrounds, yet uncompromising to the Gospel Truth.
Admittedly, Jesus’ teachings confounded and challenged many, including His disciples. Away from the crowds, the disciples would pull Him aside and say, “Now, what did you mean by that?” Please think of your small group experience as your special audience away from the general public to get the insiders’ scoop. Going behind the scenes in The On-Purpose Person you’ll explore many of the deeper truths and life applications otherwise hidden in the parable format.
On-Purpose Peace is designed for six small group meetings or “Gatherings.” A facilitator keeps the agenda rolling along to the agreed upon group time and standards. He or she has determined the timeframes, pace, and degree of content coverage appropriate for your small group.
In your Gathering, your fellow participants and you will discuss the work you have done in advance of the Gathering plus additional content, social interaction, or prayer.
- For each Gathering, your responsibility is to come prepared. You’ll do assignments between Gatherings that include Chapter Readings in The On-Purpose Person plus Chapter Commentaries with Discussion Questions. Each Gathering includes an Article with Discussion Questions that may or may not be a part of the design for your Gatherings. Your facilitator will inform you.
- Allocate at least 60 minutes of outside preparation, reading, and thinking for each Gathering. For Gathering 2, however, anticipate 90 minutes.
- At the beginning of each Gathering is a list with checkboxes for the assignments due as well as content to be covered within the Gathering. Follow the checkboxes, and you will cover the content.
Come As You Are
Going from living off-purpose to being on-purpose isn’t necessarily as easy as turning on a lifestyle light switch. The decision to be on-purpose, however, is that distinctly binary.
Either Jesus is who He says He is or He isn’t, period. Yes or no, not maybe. Maybe is the ultimate procrastination. His presence is compelling because He calls into question what you believe. He is a decision demanding your attention and challenging your beliefs. Putting off this decision may seem easy, but it is haunting. How long will you allow your life to stand stuck at the fork in the road? Jesus is not a demanding person; however, His presence is.
On-Purpose is about making a more informed decision today for your tomorrows. There is no “Christian litmus test” when engaging with this content. Truly, come as you are. The goal here is to show you the way to a more peaceful life.
If you are a skeptic, revisiting, or exploring the Christian faith for the first time or the first time in a while, then you’ve found a welcoming read and conversation. The On-Purpose Person will speak into your life.
I did not become a Christian until I was 31 years old. Candidly, the Bible was an irrelevant relic as far as I was concerned. At age 36, I wrote The On-Purpose Person for people like me before I became a Christian. I know those soulful empty feelings of discontentment that nothing in the world seems to satisfy. What if the classic rock hit by the Rolling Stones, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is wrong? Satisfaction exists! Call, pray, and seek.
If you are a professing Christian, anticipate your faith to come alive in very practical and profound ways. The secret to this simple modern parable is an orientation to being in God’s will, period. This “oneness” with God is peace.
Since the late 1980s my life’s work with individuals and organizations is to help to know their purpose and align their lives with it so they are on-purpose. I’ve yet to hit the bottom of this well of wisdom. Quench your thirst with refreshing sips from a bucket of this tasty living water.
If you are a mature follower of Christ, here is a rare opportunity for refining and deepening your faith on a profoundly personal basis. Be expectant. Look for spiritual insights and dimensions of God’s Passion and Love to come alive in you and your service. God’s will and your identity in Christ will be more consistently aligned and shalom, peace from oneness with God, will be ever more present. The Bible will become profoundly personal. Your relationship with Christ will be ever more real and relevant.
Relax! Just as you are right now is the ideal condition and time to be still and to seek God within what understanding and perspective you have. God tells us that this is sufficient. Come as you are and you will leave with greater understanding of who you are and Whose you are. Then, you can intentionally orient and integrate your life to be one with the Great I AM. Here, lives the crux of being a peacemaker, on-purpose!