Every member of your congregation is driven by something, and you need to discover what those forces are in order to better disciple those under your care. Ultimately, you want to lead each member to be driven by God’s agenda—to live a purpose-driven life.
Most dictionaries define the verb drive as “to guide, to control or to direct.” In your congregation, there are some driven by a problem, a pressure or a deadline, and others driven by a painful memory, a haunting fear or an unconscious belief.
There are hundreds of circumstances, values and emotions that drive people’s lives, and understanding what’s driving them is a key to reaching them.
Here are five common “drives”:
Some people are driven by guilt—They spend their entire lives running from regrets or hiding their shame. Guilt-driven people are manipulated by memories. They allow their past to control their future, believing their past mistakes to be bigger than God. They often unconsciously punish themselves by sabotaging their own success. When Cain sinned, his guilt disconnected him from God’s presence, and God said, “You will be a restless wanderer on the earth” (Gen. 4:12, NIV). That describes most people today—wandering through life without a purpose.
Some people are driven by resentment—They hold on to their hurts and never get over them. Instead of releasing their pain through forgiveness, they rehearse it over and over in their minds. Some resentment-driven people “clam up” and internalize their anger while others “blow up” and explode. Both responses are unhealthy and unhelpful. Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent. While your offender has probably forgotten the offense and gone on with life, you continue to stew in your pain, perpetuating the past.
Some people are driven by fear—These fears may be the result of a traumatic experience, unrealistic expectations, growing up in a high-control home or even genetic predisposition. Regardless of the cause, fear-driven people often miss great opportunities because they’re afraid to venture out. Instead they play it safe, avoiding risks and trying to maintain the status quo.