We all know people infused with an extraordinary amount of purpose and energy. Some days, it seems like nothing can get in their way. Many of us have also known people who seem to have lost the will to live. Research suggests that having a clear purpose in life is a predictor of longevity. Pastors can help parishioners make sense of life through hard times. They can help those who seem to be wandering through life or who have little will to live to lead a life of meaning and purpose.
“In recent years, studies have suggested that having a sense of purpose helps you to live a longer and healthier life.”
-Neil Si-Jia Zhang
What to Consider
- How has your experience affirmed or contradicted this research?
- How can you help people of different ages find purpose in age-appropriate ways?
- What stories in your community illustrate the purpose of your congregation?
How to Go Deeper
- Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Invite members to share the creative ways they have found to pass on their purpose in life to the children in their lives.
- Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Share a few spiritual disciplines that help one to “run in such a way as to get the prize” (v. 24, NRSV). Invite members to take part in a spiritual disciplines small group that explores different methods of prayer and reading scripture.
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