You need relationships in your pursuit of purpose. Relationships provide necessary support and accountability. You are not an island. You need to learn to build a network of relationships with God and people. This definitely is a wise step toward sustaining your pursuit over a lifetime.
Of course, the most important relationship you need for your pursuit of Purpose is your relationship with your Creator. You cannot even start pursuit without Him, talk less of sustaining your pursuit. You should make efforts at sustaining your relationship with God through obedience, faith and spiritual growth.
I wish to share with you three very important relationships you must have (asides your relationship with God) which are pivotal to your fulfillment of purpose and important to avoid pitfalls on the pursuit of your life assignment.
Because you are not an island of knowledge and wisdom, there are certain persons who have gone ahead of you ahead of you with whom you must be in close relationship;
- Models: These are people who do what you’d like to do or who have the kind of ministry you are being called into. You create an Elijah-Elisha relationship with such people understanding, that you desire that the Creator will use you as He is using or has used them.
- Heroes: These are people you look up to and admire. They may not have your kind of calling but they do have virtues and stuffs you desire from them. You may not even know them physically. Reading their books and following their ministries is a good way to keep in touch with them.
- Mentors: These are people who coach you. They may be called disciplers too. They help you grow spiritually and in other regards.
You can have one person who serves in all these capacities, but you may want to have a lot of them since none of them is an island himself. In the choice of a Paul, consider their specific strengths plus issues relating to godliness, objectivity, authenticity, and passion to pass something on. Remember to pray well before committing yourself to these relationships and set a realistic standard. John Maxwell advises that you should be open to multiple mentors as well as recognize that mentors may be distant.
A Barnabas is a peer and a friend. He is a fellow traveler and a close person to you. People within this category may function as your prayer partner with whom you pray regularly, accountability partner, to whom you remain honest and is open to criticism and purpose training partners with whom you share your vision and passion. They are important because they encourage us on our journey and motivate us to keep our commitments. The Scriptures talk about a friend that sticks closer than a brother, a Barnabas is such (Prov. 18:24). When looking for a Barnabas, you should look for people who are independent of your praise or admiration. This is so that they can be objective and authentic. Unlike people we will see in the third category, they are on the same level with you and so can probe, challenge and motivate you. I recommend that you let them know the specific roles they play in your life and learn to trust them to help and be sincere with you.
Your impact is not full unless it can be passed on. Part of your responsibility in God’s global plan is to ensure you pass on virtues to the incoming generation. You don’t have to be of a certain age. As you do purpose, you’ll find that certain people are under your influence. They look up to you and admire you. You must also be the Paul for someone else! Rick Warren talks about the three phases of a Paul-Timothy Relationship
- Parenthood:My friend and senior, Tolulope Oguntowo sees discipleship as a form of adoption. Apostle Paul at some points in his ministry referred to the young man, Timothy as his son. You must build yourself up to become a father for those coming after you. As you with our Heavenly Father, you’ll find the perfect model to do this. You need a sense of parenthood to mentor.
- Pacesetting: Paul says concerning Timothy that he knows what he taught and is aware of his beliefs and convictions. You should set the pace for people after you to follow.
- Partnering: Your Timothy should not remain under you for life. They should become your partners even before you leave the stage. Paul later refers to Timothy as his “co-labourer”. Don’t be afraid your timothy will outshine you. Understanding your potentials should make you aware of the fact that no one can be better than you in your own sweet serving spot. It should be your joy when your timothy begin to make more sense particularly when you leave the stage.
Having a Paul is as important as having a Timothy because this is the only way your impact can take a multi-generational nature. I encourage you to be open to these three relationships. You are better with them than without them.
Since, Val’s day comes up this week (that should tell you where I got the inspiration for this piece), I want to end on a very personal note. I wish to appreciate all who have associated with me on the various levels of relationship; Adeyemi Adebimpe, Nihinlola IfeOluwa, Bukola Falola, Deborah Babatunde, Tim Ola-Bamgboye, Taiwo Olopade, Olafimihan Oluwajuwonlo, Ibukun Ojo, Lawal Tobi, Oladejo Oluwatoosin, Makinde Sinmiloluwa, Ifeoluwa Alabi, Adejobi Dhunnie, Farinde Toyin, Akanji Fiyinfoluwa and several others. I am grateful. I love you all!