Someone asked the other day, "Why do you do what you do?"
Not a bad question. Who really wants to work in the non-profit sector in a position that has dwindling social status and is difficult to make friends because your social life suffers at the hands of having to work weekends? Oh, did I mention that you get to face the darkness of people's lives and are asked to share "Good News" at all times?
There are three things that motivate me in ministry beyond the fact that I believe I am called into this work. (I would not choose this for myself for the above mentioned reasons, but I cannot imagine doing anything else).
I am willing to bet that my motivators are also similar to those fortunate enough to have a job that fits their vocation.
In no real order, the primary motivators are:
I have a passion of helping people spiritually develop and mature. I have a growing sense that the amount of spiritual immaturity is growing and needs to be addressed (see some of the immature responses to the Sandy Hook shooting). I am passionate about helping people to spiritually mature. I am willing to bet those who have found their vocation are motivated by a deep passion.
Another motivator in my life is a deep sense of purpose to do what I am called to do. My purpose and passion are very much related and overlap all the time. It is my sense of purpose that gives me the courage/strength that is needed to have difficult conversations that are easily dodged if my purpose was more focused on making people happy.
Finally, those who have a clear purpose and passion for their vocation some tend to have a prophetic understanding of their vocation. What I mean by this is that to be prophetic is to be one who speaks truth to power even in the face of personal danger. A person may be passionate about their job and even have a clear purpose as to what they want to do, but are not interested in putting their very self on the line for the sake of their vocation. Being prophetic is a double edged sword that does not garner a lot of friends, but frankly is a motivating factor for me and those I admire.
So what motivates you to do what you do?