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Interviews on Purpose with Guest Jeremy Pryor

Jeremy Pryor is the President of 3rd Generation Properties, Founding Partner at Family Teams, Director at and author of Family Revision: How Ancient Wisdom can Heal the Modern Family. Jeremy had an epiphany over two decades ago: The way we do family in the West is mostly a failed experiment, and the bible calls us back to a bigger and better design. Since then, his family has been living as a team on mission impacting other families in the greater Ohio region and around the world through various projects and resources.

You can visit his website Family Teams or find him on instagram @jeremympryor

What is your purpose in life?

I see purpose as nested in identity. First and foremost, my purpose is to pursue an intimate relationship with God. That is the foundation. The next set of identities is family identity: Father, husband, son and what I do there. Building a family, pursuing an intimate relationship with my wife, working with her as partners and leading my family in all of the assignments we are given. The next layer are the specific assignments that we feel we are given by the Lord and faithfully pursuing them.

So my purpose is nested in those identities and flows into the assignments and work that we feel called to pursue.

Where does this come from and how did you discover it?

It sort of happened in stages. There would be a growing burden for a particular problem in the world that we felt like was uniquely assigned to us. A problem that we couldn’t get out of our head and hearts. Then there was a season of prayer and discernment to be given a vision for what the scope of the assignment was. We then started with what was in front of us and then gradually the Lord has increased the scope.

How does this purpose uniquely play out in your everyday life and work?

We live a disciplined series of rhythms. If you were to look at our week and how we spend our time, you would see what our priorities are. We set disciplined rhythms that honor and integrate our core identities and relationships into the pursuit of what our assignments are.

It’s important not to have just goals that are disentangled from time because time is the biggest trade off. When you just focus on goals you tend to neglect relationships. It typically pans out that the goal becomes clear, the relationships become fuzzy and you find yourself living a very unbalanced life.

We have weekly and annual meetings and in those meetings the strategy is, how do we integrate more of our core relationships, (the Lord, our family, our partners, our friends, our community) in a way that really honors and deepens those relationships while we live out working our assignments.

How do you remain vibrant, encouraged and energized?

For us it is important to have an extremely life-giving element to our week that is the zenith of the week. Being recharged relationally and spiritually is something you need to be very intentional about. You cannot expect that to just happen. We construct a 24 hr sabbath that over years of discovering, experimenting and tweaking does an incredibly effective job of fully recharging our batteries. So that we enter the next week with even more energy than the week before. We are aware of what the nutrients are that tend to get depleted, and within that 24 hour period pursue those things. We do the same thing on an annual basis. Every year there are certain things we do and get to experience and go deeper into that refresh and recharge us.

So dedicating certain blocks in our week and in our year to certain values and experiences, that we have optimized over time so that they give us the nutrients we need to stay energized. And we very much prioritize things that repeat and we downplay things that are one off’s. You can’t learn anything from one off’s. You can have this awesome experience or great vacation, but if that’s the last time you are going to do it what did you really learn? You can’t really improve that experience over time. Obviously circumstances can blow up your life at any moment, but we believe that what you can control is repeated rhythms and we are very faithful to optimize that.

What is success?

Success is repeatedly honoring the relationships and assignments that we have in our life. I don’t like “maintenance.” I don’t think that we are supposed to maintain relationships, I think that we are supposed to pursue intimacy in relationships. Relationships are either going deeper or are getting more estranged and shallow. There is a goal, and it is a deepening goal, so honoring that pursuit is very important. That’s the prerequisite to success, I don’t care to succeed in any other area if it means I have to sacrifice that. From there its being intentional and strategic to fulfill the assignments I have been given.

What is one thing that you do everyday that is a necessity for your success?

I have a pretty extensive morning routine which involves time in the scriptures, time in prayer and worship. One of the more unique things that I do is that I always write down the strongest emotion that I felt the previous day. Being as relationally focused as I am, this has been really helpful for me to reflect and drive my prayer life and how I am being intentional in my relationships. The feelings are almost always relational and having a concrete practice to bring those to the forefront helps to keep the feelings and relationships from being neglected. I find this especially important when you are stewarding major assignments where you are getting a ton of positive emotions from reaching specific goals.

Any other thoughts or words of encouragement for those on the path of discovering their purpose?

Pay very close attention to what bothers you the most, what problems in the world you feel a burden about. It may not be a big deal to others, but for you it feels like a BIG thing. Ask, is there a reason why this is hitting me on such an emotional level? You have got to pay attention to that. Really pray about it and ask “Am I being called to be part of the solution?” Are you putting a burden on my heart for this thing ,and what do you want me to do about it? And then pay attention to what you might hear or experience, and be intentional and strategic on how to follow through.

Thanks for reading!

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