What’s Your Why? How Purpose Inspires When You’re Discouraged

iStock_000008657360SmallWhen the alarm goes off way before the sun comes up, what is really getting you out of bed?

After a day of back-to-back meetings and solving problems, why do you prepare to come back the next day and hit the ground running?

After preaching your heart out with hardly an “Amen!” to be heard, what motivates you to start preparing for next Sunday?

Ministry isn’t one mountaintop experience after another.  There are plenty of valleys and uphill climbs that we struggle to overcome.  So why do you keep going?  The easy, spiritual-sounding answer invokes God – our love for Him and our desire to lead others into a relationship with Christ.  Any church leader would agree with those reasons.  However, those are the “easy” answers.

What really keeps you going?

Is it how God so dramatically turned your life around?

Was it an issue you dealt with that you don’t want anyone else to ever have to experience?

What is your “why”? 

My why involves my own experiences in ministry.  My childhood church was a mess, so my family left.  I didn’t have a church home for about ten years – still serving God, but disillusioned with His church.  I’ve seen leaders I respect unknowingly hurt their team.  I’ve felt the frustration and exhaustion that were the result of poor leadership decisions.  I’ve seen leaders who’re burning out trying to do everything themselves.

Those experiences are what motivated me to start helping church and ministry leaders.  I can’t stand by and watch them and their teams exhausted or leaving the ministry.  I can’t handle seeing them struggle with inefficiencies and last minute scrambling to “make it happen.”  I know there are easier, less stressful ways to accomplish their goals and it is pure joy for me when I get to show them how.

That’s what gets me up early and refreshes me when I get discouraged.  I’m confident that this is what God has led me to do and ultimately, I’m serving Him.  It’s also very inspiring to remind myself of why I started on this journey and what I’m seeking to prevent for others.

When you’re wondering if the next sermon or meeting is worth the effort, pause and remember your why.  Purpose fuels passion for ministry.  God planted your purpose, your why inside of you.  I believe that’s a gift from Him to keep us going regardless of the circumstances.

What’s your why? What motivates you?