1.You’re passionate because you want to be better than someone else
This is one of the poorest motivations I can think of for being passionate in what you do, but the drive to compete against others runs deep in many leaders.
Let’s be honest, it’s not that difficult to beat the dying church down the street, but that’s hardly a great motive.
Leaders who have to be better than others suffer from at least four problems.
The first problem? It’s you. If you always have to be the star, you’ll always play in a small universe. In fact, you will intentionally keep the universe small because you’re too insecure to spend time with leaders and organizations who are bigger or brighter than you. Bad move on about a thousand levels.
Second, you’ll never surround yourself with truly great leaders. They’ll sniff out your insecurity and won’t stick around long.
Third, you will never realize your potential as a leader or, even more importantly, the potential of your church because your reference point is something bad, and not your true potential.
Finally, there’s a good chance someone better than you will come along. Then what are you going to do? (Other than sulk.)
2. You’re passionate because you’re the leader
Stepping into the lead of something for the first time or the thousandth time creates a kind of adrenaline, because, well, you’re leading it.
Some of that is very natural and some of it is very good.
But there’s a line you have to trace out. Sometimes the fact that you’re the leader can become the main motivation for your passion. And that’s trouble.
If you notice yourself always being the most passionate about something when you’re leading it, it could be a sign that your leadership is all about you.
And while people follow leaders, most people don’t actually follow a leader for the leader’s sake. You follow a leader for the mission’s sake (see below).
A great motive check for leaders is simply this: Can you get excited about being a part of something that you’re not leading?
If you can’t, do some soul work. Ask God to help break your self-focus.
And go get involved in a project, team or cause that someone else is leading.