Three Strategies to Keep Enthusiasm and Passion Alive in Your Work and Ministry
You simply can’t allow the fire of your passion for ministry grow dim!
Sure, I know that the stresses and strains of pastoral work can wear you down over time. I realize many things can “poke a hole” in our enthusiasm:
It may take some time and work to keep the joy, intensity and excitement burning hot in our lives. Yet we must absolutely do so. (At the end of the article, I will share three strategies I personally use to help me do so.)
First, though, let me share a simple story illustrating that passion matters.
My two granddaughters snuggled beside me, we watched an animated film on Netflix called Leap! (I imagine that if you have young children or grandchildren, you may have seen it.)
The plot, set in the 1880’s, follows Felice, an orphaned French girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina and gets the opportunity to learn ballet. Eventually, her teacher must choose between Felice and her nemesis Camillie for a leading role. Observing Felice making a grand fete – a leaping ballet move -- he asks them each a piercing question, “Why do you dance?”
Camille admits that she dances only because her mother tells her to, while Felicie speaks stirringly of dance as her passion.
Even Camillie, her enemy, realizes that Felicie’s passion qualifies her as the one who must dance the lead role!
We’ve all observed people who perform their work or art with passion, whether musician, dancer, doctor, waitress or, yes, even a pastor. A undeniable spark of engaging enthusiasm burns in them. The light and warmth draws us to them.
So passion is important, even essential. Of course, I speak of passion as the Spirit-infused joy of our calling!
I believe the great Apostle Paul had something like this in mind when he wrote to Timothy:
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6 NIV)
Paul exhorted Timothy – and by extension, us – to do what we must to keep our flame alive.
I’m pretty sure that ruminating regularly on negatives probably won’t help us do that! More likely, we should focus on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy” and think about such things.
Here are three strategies I use to keep alive my passion for God’s work.
#1. Revisit my calling. I recall the reasons that I originally entered the work that I do and the sense of God’s leading that I felt so strongly.
#2. Continue my education. I take on new training, courses and skill development. I keep on growing professionally so that I can take on new challenges.
#3. Reflect on my successes. It’s easy to fall under a dark cloud of discouragement when things go wrong. I find that refreshing my memories on all the things that have gone right over the years boosts my spirit!
You may have other strategies for keeping your passion alive. If you do, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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