Finding Your “Why”

There’s a popular business quote, “Successful people do what they don’t want to do when they don’t want to do it.” As we observe the effective people around us, it seems that saying is true. But the question remains: why?

Well, “why” turns out to be the answer to its own question. Successful and effective people are so BECAUSE they know why they are doing what they do. It is the “why” that drives them. Simon Sinek gave a great TED talk on this.

The “what” you do or “how” you do it are still important, but they aren’t strong enough to fuel you. You need a solid “why” to drive you hard enough to surmount challenges you face.

In the global ministry world, we love movements. Movements are exciting, fast growing, fluid, and powerful. Right now, one of the most expansive movements in the ministry world is the Discipleship Making Movement (DMM). DMM uses a simple Bible study method that works in any culture, with any group of people. It’s genius. Many are trying to get a grip on DMM, to define it… to organize it. Truthfully, though, when that happens, the power of a movement will often begin to wane. People in the movement will begin to think more about how it’s happening and what is coming from it, and will be motivated less by why they are doing it.

If “why” is so crucial in the success of business and of global movements, it must also be important in our pursuit of following where Jesus is leading.

It’s true that our following Jesus is the answer to the initial “why.” We do what we do for the kingdom because he is leading us and we want to respond in obedience. It really is as simple as that. Jesus leads and we follow. He is our Master, or Lord and our King.

But wait, there’s more.

God gives us passions for certain things, and that is not just at random. In giving us these passions, he expects us to use them for the kingdom. Our passion becomes our second “why.” If teaching lights you up, then you should be teaching for the kingdom. That love of pouring yourself into someone else will push you through any obstacle that might derail you. If you love to sing, then find ways to sing for the kingdom. Your passion to encourage others through music will overcome any fear you may feel of performance.

When we allow our “why” to drive us, the “how” becomes clear as we take steps forward, and the “what” is the natural result of the “how.”


What is your “why?” What empowers you to move on every time? What do you look forward to just because it brings you joy?

Whatever that is, find a way to do that for the kingdom. Pursue it in study. Pursue it in relationships. Pursue it in life. Pursue it in faith that God will use it and multiply it for his glory.

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