Grace Institute News & Good Ideas
March 23, 2011
worth the suffering
There is a lot of talk about passion today. It is becoming more and more clear that today's church will not be led where it needs to go by passionless leaders. But countless leaders in ministry are feeling their passion run dry. Their gas tanks are running on empty.
While we speak often of passion being romantic or a high level of enthusiasm, the ancient understanding of passion was associated with sacrifice. Therefore we talk of the Passion of Christ. The passion that is needed in ministry isn't a ramped up enthusiasm (that only drains the tank faster) but a commitment that is so compelling that it is accompanied with a willingness to sacrifice. In other words, our desire to do what we are doing in the name of Christ needs to be something we're willing to sacrifice for because it is worth it.
And that may be part of the problem. Much of ministry can devolve into "administrivia." Our days can be filled doing nothing more than responding to what people say they want. We can invest ourselves in a lot of activity that isn't necessarily making that much of a difference or isn't even an expression of our calling. We not only get tired from doing things that aren't from real passion, but the resistance we experience makes it that much worse.
Especially during this season of Lent, it might be helpful to ask ourselves some questions:
- Am I engaged in things that I'm willing to sacrifice for?
- Am I investing myself in things that make a difference or creating an atmosphere to make that possible?
- If I could alter my schedule during the week to attack those things that I have real passion about, what would they be? What stands in the way?