As I grow as a leader I’m constantly being introduced to new ways of viewing organizational health and stability. It has been a good experience, but I do feel in over my head when reading about business professionals and church leaders and the means by which they’ve achieved balance and efficiency in their organizations. And while reading some blogs, I recently began to ask myself about the sort of leadership team I would like to be involved with. What would make me excited to be there? What would frustrate me? Is there anything (besides gross sin) that would make me want to leave the team? As I considered my own responses, I created a (laundry) list of traits that would provide an exciting work environment and would compell me to invest lots of time and energy over the long-haul. And then I whittled that list down to four things: Passion, Communication, Submission, and Innovation. Today, let me describe my idea of Passion.
“Passion” is defined (in the context I’m using it) as an intense desire or enthusiasm. It’s that feeling when you’ve come alive and you’re excited at the prospect of doing or achieving something that uses your gifts and talents to a greater potential. Passion energizes you to the point that no matter what weaknesses or obstacles stand in your way, there’s no end to the amount of time or energy you’ll invest to succeed.
This kind of passion is a gift from God. He distributes all gifts and chooses how we should use them to His–and our–delight (Jas. 1:17 & 1 Cor. 12:11). We have been called into His service to cultivate the earth, whether it be as pastors or politicians, businessmen or bishops. Everyone has a God-designed calling to impact their spheres of influence so His goodness is made known to all.
This is exactly what Jesus entered into our world to do. He knew that His calling was to make the Father known (Jn. 17:26) and He was sent out on a divinely empowered mission to preach the kingdom and offer salvation to those who would repent and believe (Lk. 4:18-19). Jesus is Passion Incarnate: He is passionate about His Father’s glory and He is passionate about fallen humans being reconciled to God.
Looking to Jesus draws us up into the passionate embrace of the Godhead and inspires us to live our lives as kingdom ambassadors while we seek to connect others to the One who gave all for us. That’s because passion for Jesus always leads to compassion for people (and the significance of the order must not be lost on us).
An effective team at theWELL is expected to live first in pursuit of this passion. Above all efforts to achieve great things, each person involved must know the great achievement of the cross, the passionate endeavor of the Man who went there, and the joy of the Father for His restored family.
I envision a team of leaders in our community who are abandoned in their search for more of God. They order their lives so they can go deeper in Him, which means they are budgeting their time and their money so it has maximum impact and effectiveness. They don’t just experience God on Sundays, but they are overflowing with the revelation they have in the Word. They watch videos, listen to podcasts, go to Bible studies, show up early, and leave late simply because they want to know and experience more. Their prayer lives are evident in the way they carry themselves–how they talk to and treat others, the humility they walk in, the compassion they have for the lost. Their self-restraint is not an empty legalism, but a passionate pursuit of the God-Man that baffles the onlooker. Their hearts are broken for the downtrodden and less fortunate as they live as missionaries sent to their own culture. The team models servanthood by shepharding the flock as if they were their own children. They are full of the Spirit as they look for the miraculous invasion of the kingdom of God upon the earth. They live lives of great faith, but don’t broadcast any achievement, save for the cross of Christ.
A man named Howard Thurman once said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Indeed it does.