What or Why?

I just attended a very good conference, called “Best Practices,” that shared a multitude of good, even great, ideas of what to do for making disciples. If you are like me, I walk away with a list of ideas I want to do. I am excited and hopeful for the results. I implement them only to find out they didn’t work, or didn’t work the same for me. I assume it is me, our leaders, bad timing, or just a bad idea.

It is easy to get focused on the what to do in ministry. Ministry leaders are always asking, “What is working?” “What should I do next?” There is nothing wrong with those questions. They are good questions. So why do some whats work, while others don’t?

The answer is, “Why?” You see, every what is created with a why. By why, I mean with a specific purpose of that congregation. Not all whats fit our context or even our purpose. Too many times, the new flashy what gets our attention and energy but it doesn’t fit our why/purpose of our ministry.

Before you get excited about a what, take time to clarify your why. Why does your church or ministry exist? A why is your purpose. A purpose is never ending, and it gives direction. Once you clarify your why, it will lead to the what and then how. When you have the why, you will have the motivation for you and others. When you know your why, you will have better discernment to what you should do or not. Many churches and businesses are busy doing a lot of good that has no connection to their why, and it results in them not getting good results.

I hope I have piqued your interest in this dynamic. To go deeper, watch the video below or read the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek.

by: Rev. Jason Scheler, Mission Executive of the LCMS Southern District

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