Although a friend once told me that passion was overrated, I believe that the things about which we are passionate give meaning and purpose to life. The first definition of “passion” in the dictionary is “compelling desire” with “sexual desire” coming in third. When I talk about passion, I am talking about what gets you up in the morning and keeps you going all day.
A sense of passion to encourage and disciple leaders for the church led me into a ministry with college students. A passion for a free and faithful expression of the church led me to work with the Tennessee Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. A passion to walk with and encourage church leaders led me into coaching. A passion to care for and support my family sustains me daily.
In addition to all of the preceding, I have a passion for the church. I will admit that such a passion is not always easy to sustain. When I see churches and their members being fearful, demanding, or uncaring, my passion takes a hit. Things continue to happen within the life of the church, however, that serve to rekindle that passion.
When I see a youngster who has been nurtured within the fellowship make a public profession of faith in Christ and seek believer’s baptism, my passion is rekindled. When I see a young couple cast their lot with the local fellowship of believers and begin serving there, my passion grows. When I see the church reach out to marginalized and needy people, my passion receives a boost. When I see the church serving members in time of loss and grief, my passion glows. When I see a church embrace a new ministry or welcome a new leader with open arms, my passion soars.
Bill Hybels often says that we need to continue to cast vision because “vision leaks.” In like manner, we need to continue to nurture and seek passion in order to be faithful to God’s call, both in the church and in ourselves.