Hold on to Your Why (Part 1)

We now know we have a why…an internal motivation that gives our ministry meaning. This why serves as our anchor when we are faced with the inevitable desire to quit, throw up walls or just go into auto-pilot. To often, that why gets lost in the urgent, monotonous or discouraging things we encounter as we serve. How can we keep our why front and center when all the white noise is looking to push it to the sideline?

Over the next couple of posts, we will take a practical look at some things we can do to elevate and re-embrace our why.

First, Identify your why.

Hold up-don’t we know our why? I can’t start on that assumption. Personal experience has shown me that when discouragement hits, I often have to rediscover why. Why am I serving even though no one seems to care? Why am I investing in people when no one is investing into me? Why am I putting in hours (that, let’s be honest, we don’t really have) only to have no one show up? If we are asking why questions, chances are we need to go back to the beginning and reunite with our why. How do we do that? Take those same why questions and instead of asking them in a reactionary way, ask them in the future tense. “Why would I be willing to serve even if no one cares?” “Why do I want to invest, even if no one is investing in me”?, etc.

For many of us, the answer is: People. For those called to ministry, it is liking having a beating piece of God’s heart deposited in yours. We want to see people know Jesus. We want to see them walking in victory and in the fullness that God has planned for them. We want to see a God centered community formed that then impacts the city around us and glorifies God.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include the contrary. If you why isn’t centered on service and glorifying God, it may not be a why that will keep you going. I can say that I want to change my eating habits to look good. But that motivation, that why, may not be enough for me to withstand the immediate gratification associated with a yummy bowl of ice cream. My why has to be bigger than me. As a mom, if I say I’m going to change my eating because I want to make sure my son grows up with healthy habits-bam, I have a why bigger than me.

Ministry was never meant to be about me. I have found personally, if my why has become askew, my what and how become labored and trying.

So, for this week-identify your why. If it is off, realign it and start fresh.

Next Week: Why be accountable?

Have you experienced a why that was off? Share in the comments. Let’s learn from one another. 🙂

Photo creds: paulmadson.com

4 Reasons Why It ‘s OK to Enjoy Having a Professional Job: Reason 1

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In a world where the ability to have a full time focus is a luxury many seek, it can be difficult to reconcile the side of you that enjoys being in a secular work place. The good news is, you don’t need to reconcile…it is perfectly biblical, and here is why!

 

Reason 1

Paul had a day job. That’s right! Mr. I Wrote Almost One-Third of the New Testament was bi-vocational!

In Acts 18, we see working wasn’t just something he did before he launched his ministry. Paul was saved and began ministering in Acts 9. Barnabas and Saul were designated by the Holy Spirit for missionary work in Acts 13 and were planting churches in Acts 14. Paul’s ministry was in full swing.

Finally, in Acts 18, while he is planting the church in Corinth (the only church to get 2 letters), he is working as a Tent maker. Interestingly enough, all Jewish teachers of the law in the first century had a “trade”. Reading through Acts, Paul was proud that he lived by his work. You should be too. I can’t help but wonder why Paul, one of the most influential ministers in the history of the church chose to work?

Maybe he saw the market place as a mission field in and of itself, which brings us to our second reason…Whatever in Greek means…Whatever…