Passionate Ignitors

My 8 year-0ld son, Joey, has the best teacher in the world – Ms. Montag. She’s passionate about teaching her students and taking an interest in them outside of school activities. She makes teaching fun, which inspires students to reach their full potential. She’s enthusiastic about teaching, which motivates students to learn. Always looking for the best in them, she lavishes students with praise and encouragement. Her evenings at home are often filled with planning how to make the next day’s lesson over the top. Going above and beyond her role as a teacher, she takes an interest in her students outside of school. For example, she’s come over our house for dinner and a movie. She watched my kids for a few hours while I was taken to the emergency room. She went with our family to Disneyland. She knows what’s going on in her students lives. Teaching is more than a job, it’s her life’s passion!

People who are filled with passion for their work do extraordinary things! They impact others’ lives in a positive way. Their passion brings out the best in others and inspires them do great things!

How passionate are you these days? Need more? Want to keep it alive? Here are a few “passion ignitors” based on my experience:

1. Read books, blogs and stories that inspire you
Passion leaks. You’re busy pursuing worthwhile goals that make an impact in others. So, get refueled by reading books, blogs and stories that inspire you.

2. Keep a healthy balance.
Your passionate pursuits have a way of taking over. You love what you do, so your passion becomes your life. If you’re not careful, then you’ll get burnt out. Do things that relax you and get your mind off of things. For me that’s taking a walk, body boarding or surfing, journaling and spending time with family. A couple of times a year take extended time off. Get away from email and work for days or weeks at at time.  Take a vacation!! When you return, you’ll be refreshed and refueled.

3. Connect with others who are pursuing life and God with passion.
Find some friends who are passionate about similar things. But also hangout with others who are passionate about other things you’re not – your world will be expanded. Passion is contagious.

4. Refuel.
If you have money in the budget, attend a conference related to your area of passion. Go there to learn, but also refuel. Give yourself an extra day or two before or after the conference to just relax. Giving yourself buffer time allows you to breath, process and spend time with God. Intentionally skip sessions during the conference so you don’t get overloaded. Conferences have a way of actually making you feel more tired afterward. Don’t allow that to happen. Skip sessions and connect with others who are attending. Meet some new people. Another idea – buy the DVD or audio sessions of conferences you can’t attend. Take time out during your week to immerse yourself in those sessions in order to refuel.

5. Stay connected to Jesus.
This probably should have been #1. Jesus is the one who gives you passion to reach preteens. Being a leader is like being a bucket. You pour your heart and soul into others. But the bucket gets empty and Jesus is your source. Be sure to attend your churches weekend services, join (not lead) a small group, spend time with God throughout the week, etc. Keep your relationship with God alive and healthy.