Outcome-Driven, Aim-Driven or Purpose-Driven: Which Are We?

The apostle Paul counsels us to live our lives in such a way that in everything we do, at any time and in any place, we should reflect our most serious intent: to obtain an “eternal crown.”

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?

Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.

No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

                                                                     — 1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (NIV)


boys running

By living this way, people who watch us will recognize the seriousness of our cause and the high level of commitment we have for it.

As a result, they will not question whether we would settle for anything less than the intended aim, purpose, target or goal that we set for our lives, or that God sets for us (see Jeremiah 29:11).

As I reflected on 1 Corinthians 9:24–27, the question that came to me was,

“Should we call Compassion an outcome-driven organization, or do you think we are more of an aim- or purpose-driven organization?”

What are your thoughts? Are outcome-driven, aim-driven and purpose-driven really the same thing?

If not, how would you differentiate them from one another? Which best reflects the 1 Corinthians passage?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bambang Budijanto serves as Compassion’s Regional Vice President for Asia.

9 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Annie B May 5, 2013

    Faith driven – and then I’d suggest clarifying “faith” to be in Christ. We look to Him for purpose- to Him for what our aim is- to Him for wisdom as to what the goals should be and how and when to carry them out! I love that He is already what “drives” Compassion – we need only to keep it that way- eyes fixed on Him and feet willing to follow.

  2. Susie September 21, 2011

    The ultimate goal, purpose, or aim I think is to follow Jesus’s example and help shepherd God’s children home to heaven, so I’m thinking “Heaven Bound”. However, to outsiders it may sound too presumptuous to be so bold, in which case purpose driven sounds appropriate.

  3. Allyson September 21, 2011

    I would say purpose driven. it hints at doing something for someone because of someone. outcome makes it sound like the only important thing is the end. How we get there matters just as much. definitely purpose driven.

  4. John English September 18, 2011

    Perhaps Compassion Driven. Love of other people seems the focus, to me anyway.

  5. dave wells September 17, 2011

    From where I sit, Compassion International is Jesus-driven and by that I mean Jesus Christ is our primary focus. If that were not the case, I would not be associated with the ministry.

    We need to define the terms ‘outcome, aim, and purpose,’ within the context of our relationship with Jesus Christ: what is HIS desired outcome, aim, and purpose!

    As we consider the huge variety of things the ministry of Compassion International does for the children and people it serves, we MUST never forget that the primary goal is to bring folks into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ–this is what brings honor, glory, and praise to our Lord and Savior.

    IF Compassion were forced to narrow down the scope of what it provides to children to one single thing, that singular thing would always be sharing the Good News–this is the one thing that saves lives always if it is received.

    My prayer is that we never sway from that mission.

    1. Sheri September 19, 2011


  6. Nathan Cary September 17, 2011

    Your question forces me to think through these choices.
    As I think of Outcome base, I think of No Child Left Behind. Is that concept possible with Compassion? At what cost are we willing and able to stay with the weakest and most vulnerable non-maturing child? Is that the best use of God’s resources?
    I think of Purpose Driven as the same as Aim Driven. In keeping with Compassion’s 4 points, Child Focused, Church Based, Christ Centered and Committed to Integrity, either form of drivenness might apply.
    The Parable of the Sower indicates that the same seed is spread over 4 different conditions(soils). Some yields a heavy return and the rest is much less productive.
    Personally, I believe the Holy Spirit must be given His rightful place, in working through us. He picks and choses. We have little control of the outcome, though we are to remain diligent. We don’t give up. We seek to be effective.
    We already know that not all of our sponsored children will be enrolled in the LDP.
    Not every parishioner will become a pastor, teacher, missionary or soul-winner.
    I’m also reminded that many are called but few are chosen.
    You invite all. You teach and help all. You remain vigilant, but the results are God’s business.
    I’d love to read the comments of pastors and teachers on this question.

  7. Christie dunn September 17, 2011

    Purpose driven. Aim for following His directives, in the bible…caring for the poor, the orphaned and widowed. Learning how much GOD LOVES ME, a sinner trying to get her act together in Gods way. I must surrender,be”sweetly broken” and do my part in the world. If I do that I don’t get too concerned about the outcome. It is the Lords.

  8. Judith Tremblay September 17, 2011

    The words are synonyms. All of them point to the end goal (there’s another one: goal-driven), and suggest that there must be some plan to get there.

    “Purpose-driven” seems already in the general vocabulary, due to Rick Warren’s book “A Purpose-Driven Life”.

    Whatever our opinion of the book itself, the term “purpose-driven” suggests to me the idea of our ultimate purpose having a big impact on why we do things day-to-day, reaching small goals and implementing a plan to reach the ultimate goal. We have a purpose for existing, and it includes each and every moment that we are alive. We might say we have an aim for existing; I don’t think we would say we have an outcome for existing. Due to that linguistic distinction, I vote for Compassion being “purpose-driven”.

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