Being Passionate

If you haven’t figured it out already, full-time ministry isn’t always a walk in the park. In a lot of ways, working in a ministry environment is more difficult than working outside of it. I blame it on passion. I have yet to meet an effective ministry leader who is not passionate about what they do. In fact, show me an ineffective ministry and I’ll probably be able to show you a leader who has lost their passion. The thing about passionate people, is that they tend to fight for what they are passionate about. If someone is passionate about community impact, then they will push for the programs and vision to make that ministry happen. If someone is passionate about a cutting edge worship environment, then they will fight to fund the latest and greatest in order to stay ahead of the curve. If someone is passionate about global impact, then they will push hard for a missions focus within the church. But what happens when individual passions don’t line up with the direction of the church? What happens when one leader sees things one way and another sees something completely different?

What needs to happen is conversation…a verbal exercise in working things out. There’s nothing wrong with fighting for what you’re passionate about, but remember to do so with grace. Ultimately, churches have a leadership structure for a reason. We are all accountable to someone…and as church staff, we must recognize this structure. Ultimately, it comes from the top. If God has laid something specific on the heart of your Sr. Pastor and it doesn’t line up with your passions…you may need to put your passions aside. If God is leading your Sr. Pastor down a specific road, you may need to be willing to take a detour to get lined up with him.

None of this is easy. I’m a passionate person. I have specific things that drive me and fire me up. But when those things become a distraction to the vision and direction of the church, then I need to be willing to put those things aside for the good of the ministry as a whole. That said, God gives people specific passions for a reason. Don’t lose sight of those passions. Today may not be the right day to act on them, but if God has laid them on your heart, there will come a day when He says Go.

2 Responses

  1. Great timing. I’ve been having some conversations with other volunteers in a particular ministry at my church. The issue we face are ministry leaders (staff) who are charged with leading a ministry (per the org chart) that they aren’t terribly passionate about anymore. Their passion doesn’t match that of the volunteers, and therefore causes friction.

    Do you ask for different leadership? Self-leadership was deemed unacceptable, for fear the staff would lose control.

  2. This is timely for us, too at HPPC as we’re working to develop a new volunteer base to help take our Communications Ministry to the next level. It’s not enough to carry ALL the passion alone.

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