PRIORITY OF PURPOSE

He encouraged them to desire unity. Then, Paul spoke these words about disunity among them. He pointed out a danger of people who build platforms where followers looked to the person with the platform instead of looking at Christ.

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What I mean is this: One of you says, “I
follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”;
another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I
follow Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:12, NIV).Before making the above statement, Paul shared
that he thanked God for the reader and shared his
faith in them. He encouraged them to desire unity.
Then, Paul spoke these words about disunity
among them. He pointed out a danger of people
who build platforms where followers looked to
the person with the platform instead of looking at
Christ.
Paul noted that Christ sent him to preach and
not to baptize. He understood his mission. In a
world where opportunities to speak and write are
connected to being known, it’s easy to prioritize
self-promotion. Focus on this acrostic of p-u-r-p-os-
e to help maintain balance in your ministry.
Place Christ before self. Make sure you always
point to Christ to help listeners focus on Him.
Your message should glorify God and center on
His power and not you.

Understand your audience’s needs. Know
who needs your message, and seek to reach
them. Understand their hearts and spiritual needs
so you can connect those listeners with God.

Relate to audience to develop rapport
and trust. Connecting to listeners builds unity.
That’s how you impact your audience so they will
believe and do what you say. This builds relationships
that naturally build a platform.

Present a gift with words. Consider your
talk a gift that meets needs. Your words and your
smile are the wrapping; your message is the present.
As you unwrap the gift, help them see how
it can change their lives and draw them closer to
God.

Opt in to opportunities. Paul used every
opportunity to reach people who needed God. Ask
God to open doors and guide you where He wants
you to speak or publish.

Serve rather than seek to be served.
Your attitude is the heart of what you do. Stay
close to God. Keep your heart in tune with Him
and focused on the people who need you. You are
serving God; do not seek to have people serve
you.

Equip audiences to action. Your purpose
and message flow from God’s calling and what He
wants you to do and say. If you communicate that
message well, your audience will be equipped to
change and also impact others

VIAKaren Whiting
SOURCEKaren Whiting
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ABOUT KAREN I love family and grew up around extended family in the Connecticut countryside (dairy farm country). About one-forth of the townspeople were my relatives when I was a child, so I felt very secure. My grandmothers had attended each other’s bridal showers and my grandfathers had worked together cutting ice for iceboxes as teens, so our families all knew one another well. My extended family had many gatherings and fun together. Marrying a Coast Guard officer and moving around the country gave me a whole new perspective on life. My husband had no first cousins and never lived near relatives. To my surprise, I enjoyed moving around and he enjoyed his new family community. Since I always loved children, I wanted a big family. I have 5 children and a dozen grandchild (six boys and six girls). I love to laugh and always enjoyed how my late husband saw the humor in life and made comments that brought a smile to my face. Hobbies and interests I love being creative and enjoyed creating family traditions. Growing up in the country I learned several types of needlework, crafts, cooking, and sewing. Currently I’ve been enjoying scrap booking and knitting. I also enjoy bicycle riding. My late husband and I spent 38 years together and loved ministering with youth and young adults. We volunteered with Officer’s Christian Fellowship for those 38 years and I continued to help out at the US Naval Academy with the midshipman Bible studies and activities until I moved back to Florida. Humor in real life One November, my younger daughter surprised me (after surprising herself) by discovering that she was 20 weeks pregnant and hadn’t even known! She already has a son and a daughter, but didn’t notice the new life inside her. I laughed because it is such a family thing and I had not known that daughter was coming along until twenty weeks along either! As a child I loved to have my great-grandma tell me how doctors kept treating her for a stomach tumor until she waltzed in to say, “I’m sorry, but tumors don’t kick.” She had an unexpected 7th daughter. I couldn’t imagine how she didn’t know until it happened to me. Yup, I woke up one night to feel internal kicks and saw my doctor who confirmed I was about 20 weeks along with my 4th child and guess who. Drum roll, yes, it was the daughter who is now pregnant. Fascinating information about me I’m a survivor. I lived through four lightning strikes, two spontaneous fires, and two major hurricanes hitting my homes in two different states. We lost half the house to Hurricane Andrew and rebuilt. I’m adventurous. I’ve taken a white water rafting trip in Australia (on a river where Olympians train), ridden a camel in the Canary Islands, enjoyed scuba diving off Bermuda, and rode horseback in the ocean in Jamaica. I’ve also done some zip-lining and other fun activities with grandchildren. I’m really a child at heart. When my oldest was sixteen she plopped on a stool and watched me race around with her two-year-old brother. She said, “Mom, I know why you had another baby. We outgrew you. But, don’t worry, we’ll have children so you don’t need to have any more.” My kids tell me the grandchildren always want to see me because I get down on their level and play with them. I cannot resist playing with children!