3. You’re passionate because it’s your idea
This is related to #2 above, but a bit different. Sometimes you’re not leading the initiative, but you’re excited about the innovation because it’s your idea that’s taking flight.
Again, it’s natural to be excited about your ideas and your leadership, but truly great leaders can get excited about other people’s ideas too.
In fact, the best leaders are always able to give voice to ideas they didn’t develop themselves.
The implications for your team are huge if you only fall in love with ideas you create.
If you want to demoralize your team, be passionate about your ideas and no one else’s. Eventually, you’ll have a demotivated team. Or no team.
4. You’re passionate about the mission
So what are some motivations that will make you—and not break you—as a leader?
Try this: Let the mission drive your passion.
A mission inspires because it’s always bigger than any one person.
In the case of the church, the mission is both timeless and powerful. It’s the same mission that has been around for 2,000 years, and it’s always bigger than you, bigger than your congregation and bigger than your church.
Leaders who get passionate about the mission of the church always tend to have better churches.
5. Your passion is Christ-focused
I think the ultimate motivation for passion in a Christian leader is a Christ-focused passion.
I know that’s the answer everyone expects, but in this mixture of sin and grace that is all of us, Christ-focused leadership and passion is all-too-rare.
When you’re leading a church, a passion that is self-less and Christ-focused is utterly compelling. I think it’s a type of passion the next generation both wants and needs.
Christ-focused leadership is also radically counter-cultural. In a world (and sometimes in a church-world) utterly obsessed with self, pointing to Jesus and letting your motivation be from him is a breath of fresh leadership air. And it’s what our hearts long for most.
How do you know your passion is Christ-focused (and even Christ-fueled)?
Well, you’ve given up comparing yourself with others. You’ve gotten over yourself and your commitment to your team is bigger than your commitment to your own ideas. And while your motivation is for the mission, you realize that at the heart of the church’s mission is Jesus. He’s the only one who makes a difference, and the only one with any power. And he’s the motivation and fuel for what you do.
What Do You See?
I know this is a tough subject. We all struggle with mixed motivations, and we all have good days and bad days, good seasons and bad seasons.
But this is what I see when I look inside, and more and more I’m trying to weed out the impure motives and live for the mission and for Christ. And even as I write those words, I know I’ll get it wrong as often as I get it right.
What do you see as you lead?
What fuels your passion, for better or for worse?