Why We Do What We Do :: Why We Struggle with Purpose

Posted on

Gateway South

4/10 – Why We Struggle with Purpose

If you’ve spent any time around Gateway, you know that two key aspects of our Spiritual Growth Path are to “Love God” and to “Love People.” One of the ways that we express both is through acts of service. Service helps us find purpose but serving others requires that we sacrifice something of our own. So fear often holds us back — fear of loss, fear of the unknown or fear of failure.

Work through the following questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group, or friends and family around the dinner table to talk through what you’re learning!


  1. Share about ways that you have served others in the past. What was most rewarding about that service?
  2. Have you ever felt afraid to take a big risk? Why do you think that was the case?
  3. Read Luke 6:31-33. Jesus’ version of “The Golden Rule” is active and calls for us to “do to others,” as opposed to the passive “don’t do to others” philosophy of other world views. What do you find challenging about Jesus’ words in this passage?
  4. Read Luke 19:11-26. Which of the three servants do you most closely identify with and why? How do you feel about that?
  5. Frederick Buechner said our “calling” is “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Where do your gifts and passions intersect a need in the world? Are you pursuing that calling presently?
  6. In the parable, the second servant risked some but not as much as the first. What do you think is necessary for a person to move from risking a little (like the second servant) to risking a lot (like the first)? What about from no risk (the third servant) to a little risk?
  7. Whichever servant you identify with most, God is calling you into a purposeful adventure with Him, while also preparing you for greater rewards to come. That adventure involves using your gifts, skills and passions to make a difference in your community and in the world around you. What steps will you take in the weeks ahead to pursue boldness and risk in serving others?


Luke 6:31-33 — Do to others as you would like them to do to you. If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much!

Luke 19:11-26 — While they were listening to this, [Jesus] went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’“ ‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’“ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.


Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to SPIRITUAL GROWTH PATH and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.

Spiritual Outcomes — Serve & Spiritually Gifts

Learn more about how to get beyond our struggle with purpose by working through the SERVE outcome.

Learn more about the gifts and passions God has given you for the benefit of others by working through the SPIRITUAL GIFTS outcome.

Consider taking our ADVANCE class. Find out how God created you to put your faith in action! For more details and to register, go to Gateway U.


If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account under Settings. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!