As I was taking some time to consider what to write, I looked back through an old notebook and found these five questions. I feel like these questions are essential in establishing and cultivating leaders and teams for the the future. These are questions that help me in defining core values and direction not only for teams but for life. I hope they help you as you look at your team, leadership and life.
Question #1: Is is constant?
There are only a few eternal things in this ever-changing world. This is why looking at a question like this is so important when setting goals, making investments, and dealing with ministry values. Trends, fads, social media, TV, films among a myriad of other things, all shape the way people think and react to TRUTH or BELIEF. It is imperative that life and the values that we cling to are not going to be washed away by the latest sound-byte, political agenda or passing fad. Even leaders of great magnitude and character are not constant. As we build ministries and lives, we need to instruct and help people establish constants in their lives: things that they will always have and always cling to. As I see it there are only two eternal constants: God and God’s Word. Allowing God and His Word to shape us and the world in which we minister, the culture in which we operate and the mindset from which we engage is the foundation from which all other values are formed. As you develop your life and ministry ask: Will this still be important to me in 10 years? In the end, what’s the one thing that will remain?
Question #2: Is it sacred?
Because there are only a couple eternal constants, this question of sacredness needs a little more defining. We often divide things into categories of sacred versus secular. This is not what I am speaking of. What I mean by this question of “sacredness” is: does it hold up Biblically? The tendency is to lump anything not “Christian” altogether and make it “bad”. When I read the Biblical account of creation however, I see that God made all things “good”. Sure there was the Fall and sin entered into the world and because of that we all suffer from the consequences. However, there are many things that are not “good” or “bad” that we can embrace as a ministry and with our lives. Forming ministry values and goals requires a great deal of prayer and wisdom to be sure. We simply need to address this question in the simplest form: Does it bring Glory to God? As you set your goals, values and mission, make sure that you seek to embrace as much as you can without compromising the glory of God. Ask: What do we keep in order to include? How does what we cut exclude? What is it that God is most concerned about?
Question #3: Does it motivate?
There’s a very important word to me: “passion”. Far too many people in leadership fail to have this one quality and their ministries and lives suffer from the lack. As you look over your life, ministry direction and purpose, knowing what motivates you and what you feel extremely passionate about is going to help tremendously in gathering help, followers and empowering others to accomplish God’s Kingdom work. Choose life words and works that you won’t regret or feel like is a waste of the only life you have. Choose to do things, build relationships and invest in opportunities that you gain momentum from and fuel your passion. This is the only way to continue to move forward. When you are passionate, others will want to join you. When you are on fire, others will simply gather to watch you burn! Getting excited is great but getting to moving is a whole other story.
Question #4: Does it drive?
Following on the heels…or wheels of the previous question is does it “drive”? When we are motivated we are compelled to action. The question is really “How does this or what does this drive me to do”? Where will the values, goals, mission eventually take you? We are all going somewhere, so where are your choices taking you? Where are your relationships taking you? Where are your dreams, desires, passions taking you? Is it driving you mad? Is it driving you crazy? Are those good things? Perhaps you have been letting something or someone else drive and you need to take the wheel and hand it to Jesus? What would your life look like if you really let go and let God drive you to where He wants you? Try to look ahead and see what your destination is on the current road. Is that where you want to end up? Moreover, realize you have passengers, people who are going with you…is that where you want them to end up?
Question #5 Do I really believe?
Ultimately this is where the rubber meets the road. If we really believe what we are doing is gonna matter 10 years from now, and that ultimately it matters in light of eternity; if we moved to action and passionate and feel that the things we want are worthy of our time, finances and even our lives, then this final question is an easy answer. This is not a question about a belief system but a lifestyle. This is a question that goes beyond “talk” to sacrificial living. When we really “believe” what we are doing is not only right, good, worthwhile, but worth dying for…then we can say these are the values, goals, mission and purpose worth living for.
When mapping out life goals, direction and purpose, it really all comes down to what do “I” personally believe my life is all about? I have to be able to answer that question with crystal-clear precision. Hopefully, the questions I have posed in this blog will help you as you develop your own ministry and life-values. I know they have helped me!
George Lockhart is the Creative Pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA and founder and president of Vision 2 Hear Ministries.