Chazown. It's a book by Lifechurch.tv pastor/founder Craig Groeschel. There's a Lifechurch in Hendersonville, but that isn't where I go. I read his book recently, finishing it last week. Chazown is the Hebrew word for a "dream" or "vision". Proverbs 29:18 says. "Where there is no vision, the people perish."
The point of the book is to help people realize their God-given dreams for life. The book first asks you to look at your past. What are some major events in your life? How do your hardships and good times correlate? Do you see a pattern in the people, things, and events that were a part of what made you who you are? Second, the book takes you through a process to discover what you're core values are. What makes you righteously angry? What motivates you through life? What do you love, really LOVE, to do? You're then asked to select core values. Then, the book helps you discover your spiritual gifts. There's a survey you take that will show you what gifts you have. Through 110+ questions, you'll find out a little more about yourself.
I don't mind sharing my results as an example. In my past experiences, I can see how certain events, such as being burned in dating or attending a "dead" church, have lead to my commitment to purity and God's timing and my passion for an alive, evolving, ever-growing church. I can see how working at Life Action has prepared me for hard work, responsibility, and a passion for being around a godly, fun, and down-to-earth set of friends, co-workers, and leaders. Moving on, let's look at my core values. Several of my recent posts have involved core values, and that's because I've been so excited to know what I really care about. My core values are servant leadership, personal growth, passion, learning, knowing God, excellence, discovery, confidence, and worship. My spiritual gifts are pastoring/shepherding, prophesy, music, knowledge, and discernment. To be quite honest, I have no clue how administration wasn't a gift. I also don't know exactly what prophesy means. I think it's like discernment, but since discernment was a different gift, I'm really at a loss.
The book then pits your past experiences, core values, and spiritual gifts to find your Chazown. In other words, you should be able to see your God-given dream based on what you've gone through, what you've learned and how you've learned it, who has been influential in your life and in what ways, and what natural abilities, gifts, and desires you have. Think of it like this. Your past experiences, your core values, and your spiritual gifts are each individual circles. These three circles overlap, like this:
The next step is to write your mission statement. When I was told I had to write down the mission statement for my life, I was frozen with fear. How could I write down my entire life's purpose into one tiny, concise sentence? But after some serious thought on my three circles, I was able to write it down. Here it is: My mission statement is to use the talents, values, and past experiences God has given me to teach others to grow closer to God, create a godly community, and to spread my attitude of pure passion, desire, and love for God. It's long-winded and it isn't precise. To put it concisely, I believe my mission statement is to become a pastor. The book describes mission statements as evolving. It will change over the years, and as time goes by, I'll see my mission with greater clarity.
The book goes on to discuss a few other issues, such as keeping your life firm and on solid ground, and also by setting goals and finding an accountability partner to help you stay committed. But this is all I will explain right now.
This is my Chazown. This is what the book is about. The book helped me discover more about myself than any other book ever has. Even if my mission statement or vision drastically change, this book has prepared me to look at my past, my values, and my gifts and see how God has prepared me to work and live for Him.