Why do we do the things we do?
The question of motive is significant and the answers are numerous. On a daily basis, any number of our driving motives can be linked to: responsibility, requirement, fear, joy, desire, anger, ignorance, conviction, guilt and so on.
One of the most important questions you will ever ask and answer will be, “What is my motivation for doing/saying ___________________?” If you can find that answer, it might just change everything.
While I could talk for an eon or two about motives—identifying them, discovering other people’s, what lies behind our motives, how to change them, etc—what I’d like to do, instead, is share mine when it comes to the church and why I do the things I do and strive for the things I strive for.
Whether you attend here or might consider swinging by, whether you engage with us regularly online or just happened to stumble onto this particular post, the following filleting of my heart should be of some interest and importance to you.
Well, giving people this window into my soul allows them to think critically (not be critical, although that can certainly be the result and I’m all right with that), make informed decisions, read between the lines of my words/actions and it helps keep me honest (a trait that a pastor should probably have).
First, it might be helpful if I identify (as clearly as possible) what I’m pursuing when it comes to the church generally and my church more specifically.
For the church, in general, I really don’t have any specific “goals.” If we ever get to the size or capability to reach out beyond our own ministry, I would love to be a blessing to my extended church family.
For my church, in particular, I have a number of “goals” and at least 3 motives. For the sake of transparency, allow me to share each of them below.
First and foremost, I want to see people saved! You’ll have a hard time convincing me that this is not the primary work of the church as they seek to bring glory to God!
I want to create an environment where:
- Questions are welcomed and encouraged.
- People learn what the Bible says and can consider the alternative options.
- It’s evident we love our community and our neighbors.
- Stumbling blocks (for skeptics, “outsiders,” the wounded, etc) are minimal. Really the only acceptable stumbling block should be the message of the Bible.
- Sin is spoken of, confessed and forgiven.
For those who claim and know Christ as their Lord and Savior, and are committed to this church I want to:
- Equip and encourage them to engage with each other in “normal,” as opposed to just “church,” life.
- Have discipleship be more than a program, but instead a planned and well-executed reality.
- Provide actual, biblical (as opposed to cultural or religious) fellowship, singing, tithing, communion, testimony and baptism.
- Demand, require and expect excellence in Christ.
For all those who fall outside of the above categories I want to:
- Invite, welcome and provide you with a place to figure things out.
- Be so genuine in my/our faith that we earn your respect.
- Have the privilege of dialoguing with you about the Bible and the Biblical worldview.
I want to train, equip and send out pastors from within our ranks.
I want to plant churches.
The motives are pretty straight forward. I can’t make you believe them, but I can state them and plead with you to trust that I’m telling the truth.
- I want to glorify God. I believe the God of the Bible is who He says He is and I believe that He has done, for me, what He has promised. As a result, I can’t not live to bring the God of the Bible the most glory and honor I possibly can.
- I want to love, serve and bless New Jersey. The longer I live here the more my heart beats for the people. I can’t not try to make a difference here.
- I want to leave a faith legacy. It’s not that I want to be celebrated or remembered, but I want to exhaustively engage myself in knowing and serving God in such a way that others will know what it looks like to sell out to Jesus (regardless of the cost) and pick up the work when my time is done.
DOING THE MATH: Goals + Motives = Change
Anyone wishing to make a substantial difference for their cause, their business, their family or their faith will have to author change in the coming days.
As a result of things like the smartphones, YouTube, social media, increased education, the shifting family dynamic, TED and a myriad of other life-altering advances (most of which are only entering their early teen years of existence), the world is changing.
That leaves us with four options: 1) Fight against the change 2) Try to ignore and isolate from the change 3) Work to respond as quickly as we can to the change or 4) Be one of the changers.
Category four is the category that is presently shaping and creating our future history and because I love the church and I love Jersey… I can’t not work to be in that category.