Why Do We Work For Something

You volunteer to work for an organization–say a church or charity. You work somewhere to earn money to live. If you are a leader, especially of a church or charitable organization, you find yourself constantly recruiting to fill positions.

One of the talks I listened to while working out this week was by a senior pastor of a large church. He was talking about some techniques a pastor might use to recruit people to fill positions in the church. He might use guilt, for example. Or peer pressure.

Then I had another conversation this week about church leadership. She told me that she’s discovered that church leaders must begin with a foundation in the Holy Spirit. Only then can you feel called to serve. She was on to something. Manipulation only works in the short term and eventually breeds an environment of people doing what they don’t want to do only out of a sense of being talked into it. Not much moving of the Spirit there.

I have begun reading Simon Sinek’s book, “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action.” I’ve watched his TED Talk. It’s powerful. Last night I read, “There are a few leaders who chose to inspire rather than manipulate in order to motivate people.”

His emphasis seemed to be on “a few” as in “not many” or “not nearly enough.”

Manipulation may be conscious or it may be just a person’s life orientation. Maybe the leader doesn’t know why, either. Sinek talks about What an organization does (which most people know), How an organization does What (which many people know), and Why an organization exists (which few people seem to know and can articulate).

A friend of mine recently wrote on his blog asking why people join professional associations.

I’d ask in this context, Why do you volunteer for church or charity work? When you recruit and lead, do you know Why your organization does what it does? Can you be passionate about doing what you do if you don’t know Why?

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