Skip to main content

Book Summary – The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For?

The Purpose Driven Life - Book summary

The Purpose Driven Life” is a 40-day spiritual guide by pastor Rick Warren to help you answer this question: What on earth am I here for? Warren explains why you were created and how to fulfill God’s 5 key purposes for you. In The Purpose Driven Life summary, we’ll outline these 5 purposes. This book is primarily for Christians or believers who wish to deepen their relationship with God and fulfill their purpose on Earth; it’s also a useful resource for nonbelievers to understand practical Christian teachings and find meaning in life.

The book is broken down into 40 key chapters; Warren recommends that you read 1 chapter a day, reflect on the ideas and personalize the application in your life. By the end of the 40 days, you’ll know why you exist on earth and can live with clarity and purpose. In this free The Purpose Driven Life summary, you’ll learn about God’s 5 key purposes for you and the 40 day spiritual journey in the book.

Discovering Your Purpose On Earth


Your purpose is about God, not you. Today, we’re surrounded by mass media messages that tell us to look within ourselves for answers. We pursue earthly successes that are empty and temporary. You were placed on earth for God’s cosmic purposes, which stretch into eternity. The only way to reveal your purpose is through a relationship with Christ. Don’t try to use God for your purpose; let God use you for His purposes instead.

For Days 1-7, Warren focuses on insights and reflections to (i) put God at the center of your life, (ii) rethink the current driving forces in your life, (iii) consider how your deeds on Earth are preparing you for eternal life, (iv) review what the Bible tells us about Life as a test, a trust and a temporary assignment (and what it means for your life on Earth), and (v) understand why/how the 5 purposes below are part of your existence to bring glory to God.

Interested in learning more? Do check out our full 16-page version of The Purpose Driven Life summary.

The Purpose Driven Life summary_The 5 Purposes


Anything that brings pleasure to God is called “worship”, and the first purpose of your life is to bring pleasure to God via worship. Music can be a part of worship, but worship is much more than music. Any activity can be transformed into an act of worship so long as you do it for God’s glory and pleasure.

For Days 8-13, Warren walks you through various aspects of how you can please God (i) with specific acts of worship, (ii) by offering/surrendering yourself to God fully, (iii) deepening your friendship with Him, and (iv) worshiping him even when he seems far away and unresponsive. These areas are further elaborate in our complete The Purpose Driven Life summary.


God’s second purpose for your life is to be a member of His family. You’re created to be part of God’s family. As His children, the church is our spiritual family and other believers are our brothers/ sisters. This spiritual family is eternal whereas our blood families can end with divorce, separation and death.

Days 15-21 are about considering (i) your place in God’s family and how you treat your family members, (ii) how you can give priority to your relationships, (iii) how you committed/involved you are to your local church (the body of Christ), (iv) if/how you can build real fellowships or the shared experience of Christian life (not just socializing with church friends), (v) how to make peace and repair broken fellowships, and (vi) protect the unity of the Church).


Your third purpose is to become more like Jesus Christ—not to be a god, but to become godly through your actions and character. Humans are the only beings made in God’s image: we have immortal spirits, the intellectual ability to reason, the capacity to love, and the ability to know right from wrong. Your time on earth is meant to shape you and prepare you for eternity in Heaven. This involves more than prayer and Bible study; you must also practice Christ-like thinking/acting and develop new godly habits.

Days 22-28 focus on (i) deliberately choosing the right things to fulfill God’s purposes, (ii) maturing spiritually, (iii) embracing God’s Word with daily Christian living, (iv) using your circumstances and problems to build your character, and (v) overcoming temptation. To learn more details, check out our full 16-page version of The Purpose Driven Life summary.


You were created for a unique role on earth (that no one else can fill). Every Christian (not just the pastors, priests and clergy) is called to God’s service (your Ministry). You serve Him by using your God-given abilities to help others. This is a full-time commitment, not something you do in your free time.

For Days 29-35, Warren takes you through what it means to (i) answer God’s call to service, (ii) identify and use the SHAPE that God specifically gave to you (your Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experience), (iii) hone/nurture your shape, (iv) admit to and embrace your weaknesses and (v) become a true servant.


Your ministry is about serving other believers, while your mission is about reaching out to nonbelievers. one of Jesus’ followers is commissioned to continue what he began on earth: to free God’s children from Satan’s power. Share the love of Christ with everyone you encounter in your daily work/life. In the process, you impact their eternal salvation.

Days 36-38 focus on how to (i) address the fears holding you back from your mission, (ii) craft and share your Life Message, and (iii) become a world-class tool for God to spread the Good News effectively.


Now that you know God’s 5 purposes for you on earth, you can start to (i) balance and fulfill all 5 purposes and (ii) develop a life purpose statement to guide your life. The last 2 days (days 39-40) focus on helping you to get started and truly live a purpose driven life.

Other Details in “The Purpose Driven Life

This is a detailed spiritual guidebook with a chapter for each of the 40 days summarized above. In our complete book summary bundle, which includes an inforgraphic, a 16-page text summary and a 25 minute audio summary, we cover an overview of your 5 purposes and the ideas for the 40-day spiritual discovery.

The Purpose Driven Life summary - book summary bundle

To dive deep into the exercises and reflections, purchase the book here which also includes: (i) extensive Biblical quotations, (ii) Biblical examples of people who lived out God’s will, (iii) stories from Warren’s own life and ministry, (iv) practical tips, and (v) a guided daily meditation for each of the 40 days. Alternatively, you can get more details and resources at

About the Author of The Purpose Driven Life

The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For? is written by Rick Warrenan American Evangelical Christian pastor and founder of Saddleback Church, based in Lake Forest, California. In addition to bestseller The Purpose-Driven Life, Warren is the author of The Purpose- Driven Church and many other Christian books for adults and children. Saddleback Church is one of the largest and best-known Evangelical Christian churches in America.

The Purpose Driven Life Quotes

“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do.” —The Bible

“You were made by God and for God—and until you understand that, life will never make sense.”

“The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving him when he seems distant.”

“Worship helps you focus on God; fellowship helps you face life’s problems; discipleship helps fortify your faith; ministry helps find your talents; evangelism helps fulfill your mission. There is nothing else on earth like the church!”

“Pride builds walls between people; humility builds bridges.”

“Christianity is not a religion or a philosophy, but a relationship and a lifestyle.”

“Spiritual growth is not automatic…You must want to grow, decide to grow, make an effort to grow, and persist in growing.”

“The battle for sin is won or lost in your mind. Whatever gets your attention will get you.”

“When we stop focusing on our own needs, we become aware of the needs around us.”

“God determines your greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you.”

“Living on purpose is the only way to really live. Everything else is just existing.”

Click here to download The Purpose Driven Life summary & infographic

Leave a Reply