Tag Archives: motivation

…And Some Doubted

Tuesday Re-mix –

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Matthew 28:16-17

disbeliefYou are probably familiar with the 80/20 principle of organizational dynamics.  It holds that, in any organization of any kind, once it hits its stride and “normalizes”, 20% of the people are doing 80% of the “work”.  I’m sure you have heard at least some version of it.  I dislike that principle as it relates to the church.  You probably do as well.  I have tried and tried over the years to kick against it, because it is not indicative of the “revolution” I believe Jesus intended.  If you are a leader in the church, you have probably tried to work against it as well, with varying degrees of success.

Want a sobering reality check?  I’m turning over the balance of this post to those very people with whom you are feeling frustrated.  I will let them speak for themselves.  Listen to some of the 80%…

I am that dynamic, gifted young leader in the church whom you ask year after year to take on a responsibility and I just keep turning you down.  I have doubts.

I am one of the huge percentage of your church members who is pretty steadily there for worship but have never darkened the doors of prayer meeting on Wednesday night.  I have doubts.

We are part of that handful of couples who seem so spiritually mature in Bible study discussion but who choose not to be there more than half the time.  We have doubts.

I am one of your elders or even staff members who start off so well but whose commitment dwindles over time and you begin to lose

For Heaven’s Sake!

Tuesday Re-mix –

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  1 Corinthians 15:58

“So what?”  That is a question I always ask when I study the Bible.  I just need to know why the writer is telling me this…why it is important to me.  Nobody in the Bible answers that question better than Paul.  In 1 Corinthians 15, there is a fascinating discourse from Paul about the reality of resurrection.  Paul spends this longest chapter of all of the epistles laying out a brilliant apologetic for the doctrine of the resurrection, logically laying out the facts of the gospel, the hope of the faith, and the description of what is yet to come.  The perishable becomes the imperishable, the seed becomes the sprout.  Verses 1-57 beautifully spell it all out in what would be as complete a sermon as anyone would ever want on the subject of the resurrection.  It is so complete, in fact, that one could easily end the lesson there.  But I will not.  Here’s why…

More than any writer I know, Paul uses the word “therefore” to signal a very important bottom line for him.  In fact, even after a long diatribe so beautifully laying out facts and arguments such as he does in 1 Corinthians 15:1-57, you can rest assured that Paul has not yet said what he really came to say until after the “therefore”.  That is how Paul signals that he is about to answer the question, “So what?”

In this case, he goes to great lengths to address those in the Corinthian church who were not convinced there would be a resurrection for Christ’s …

Do You Know Why You Work?

Tuesday Re-mix –

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Col. 3:23-24

My dear friend, Dr. Ann Farris, taught me that in this world there are 4 kinds of people: those who ask “What?”, those who ask “How?”, those who ask “Why?” and those who don’t ask any questions but just like to party.  Every good task force or team needs each of these types of people.  I so get that!  Of all the different “temperament” and personality profile studies I have done and seen (isn’t it  shocking how many very bright people over the centuries have devoted themselves to dividing humanity into four categories?) this one may be my favorite.  I  like it because it explains so much.  And I like explanations…

…because I am definitely a “Why?” person.

In every job, with every assignment, even in every game I play, I just need to understand the “why”.  If I don’t, then I’m not very useful, not very effective.  Motivation is everything to me.  That is true in my work with churches (I really do insist that the church understand WHY each of its ministries exists) and it is true in my individual life as well.  Life is just too busy to engage in activities with no purpose at all.

And so it is with our work.  Having a strong work ethic has everything to do with having a grasp of WHY we do it in the first place.  If the best reason you can muster for showing up at work everyday is “to collect a paycheck” (and by the way, I strongly suspect this …