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Why We Do It…

Another thought provoking post from David Foster, pastor of The Gathering in Nashville, TN…  He is talking about an interview of Steve Ballmer, #2 man at Microsoft and one of the wealthiest men in the world.

The interviewer asked Ballmer, paraphrasing, “You’re a billionaire many times over… Why do you still work?”

Foster continues:

“I sat up and took notice to that question because it really does go to the motive of why we work. Here are the four things that Ballmer said without hesitation… this is something obviously directly in his sweet spot.

1. I love what I do. Isn’t that interesting? If you love what you do, money loses its value to motivate over time.

2. We’re changing the world. There’s that pesky little word again. Doesn’t he know we can’t change the world? Computers can’t change the world. They’re just sand after all.

3. I work with really great people. Again, another core issue that keeps coming back over and over again. If you’re not working with really great people, you need to find some way to get around them because no amount of money or benefits will make up for people that you don’t like or trust.

4. I love a challenge. What you’re really saying when you say you love a challenge is that you love really stressful, ulcer-producing situations. You love things that keep you up at night. You love burdens. You love to carry heavy loads and do the impossible.

Think of these big four. Are they all a part of your life? Even if you’re a billionaire, these are the master motivators that will continue to keep you in good stead over time.”

After I read that, I spent some time thinking about those responses and how they apply to my own life and ministry…

I love what I do!  I couldn’t think of a better job than being a pastor.  Helping, teaching, serving, and leading people is a wonderful thing to look forward to when you get out of bed in the morning.  And yes, sometimes it stresses me out and breaks my heart, but the love for the ministry to people keeps me coming back even after disappointments and setbacks.

We’re changing the world! And at a much higher level than a computer software company!  When a pastor helps someone “get it” – whether “it” is:  working through a relationship issue… growing in a lifestyle of service and ministry… learning how to “get their spiritual groceries” and understand how to hear God’s voice and find life direction in the Scriptures – we’ve changed that person’s world!  When something we say or do helps bring a person who is far away from God nearer to Him – we’ve changed their destiny! 

I work with really great people! 

  • My fellow elders – Greg, Ron, and Todd – are amazing men of faith and vision who desire above all that Jesus be lifted high and God be glorified. 
  • Our deacons – Bob, Chris, Jim, Josh, Mike, Sonny, and Tony – are genuine servant leaders.  I have to be careful about saying, “We need to…” or “I wish we…” around those guys because, brothers and sisters, they will pounce on projects and other opportunities to serve. 
  • Chris and Anya are gaining more and more experience, and I am confident of this – they love Jesus and students with a passion that is tangible.  They’re are both doing a terrific job in ministry to youth.
  • Our volunteers who work in the nursery, lead children’s church, show up on church workdays, and serve in the area of hospitality, etc. – are all willing to roll up their sleeves and do the stuff.

I love a challenge!  Our church has had some turmoil, disappointment, and pain in it’s recent past.  A lot of us are still healing, and have the scabs and scars to prove it.  But I am completely convinced that our greatest days are yet to come!  Let’s hear Paul, the apostle, who said, “One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

 It would be easy for us to sit and lick our wounds or to think, “We’ve got a nice little thing going, let’s just maintain.”  But I am convinced of better things for us – God has placed us here in this community for a kingdom purpose, to make an imprint on the lives of hundreds (dare I say thousands?) of people.  It will take hard work and sacrifice.  It will consume portions of our time, talent , and treasure.  But the long range consequences and benefits will be awesome and eternal!

I can’t think of any place I’d rather be than here, any people I’d rather serve with than you, or any cause more compelling that the mission of God in our community!

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