It Is Done
Thou Shalt Not Be Rattled

Passion on a Shoestring


From "The Shoestring Conspiracy" - Passion

Let's face it. No ministry has enough resources to do everything God has called it to do. Churches are not goldmines. We often have to start small and do ministry on a shoestring. I have a series of chapters I have written on this subject out of experience that I call, " The Shoestring Conspiracy." This is a thought drawn from those files.

Ministry on a shoestring requires an elevated level of commitment. When you are short on resources, you must draw on something else, something deep and limitless. We need all that God supplies in energy, creativity, and subtantive help, but a key source of energy is passion.

Look at Jesus:

" But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." - Matthew 9:36

Our Lord was energized and resourced by compassion, which is the kind of passion that envelops others who are suffering.

Passion means "suffering" and compassion is "suffering with." As the word has evolved, it calls to mind the kind of energy that emerges from dissatisfaction with things as they are, with the suffering of humanity, the lost condition of people or even anything less than God's best and God's glory anywhere and everywhere.

So, passion energizes us and drives us even when resources are slim.

Passion if the at the root of our energy for ministry. It is that God-given quality that enthuses us with clarity of vision and depth of conviction. Without passion, we whither. With a vibrant passion we can overcome obstacles and rise above our moods. Passion reminds us of our essential purpose and drives us forward. Here is an acronym for PASSION. Some characteristics of passionate people are:

Positive Priorities
Instead of avoidance behavior, people with passion move toward their commitments aligning themselves with those activities that support the causes for which they are passionate. They refuse to get caught up in dead-end activities, fads, or passing outrages. They are constantly plotting the take-over of the dominion of death with the power of life.

Active Attitude Adjustments
Passionate people are constantly adjusting their own attitudes and actively tuning their minds in the direction of their goals and objectives. They shake off irritations and time-draining negativity in order to focus on the changes they are involved in making as God leads and empowers them

There is no faking real passion. It bubbles up from within and is nurtured by our committed actions. It can be captured, nurtured, and expressed in faith, but it must be real. The people of passion must also be real, vulnerable, human, and authentic.

Passionate people can explain their mission to you in a few short sentences. Since it is clear to them, they can make it clear for you. They have not placed qualifiers or limiters on their mission. They can tell you, "We are out to change the world and this is the part of the world we are going to change first and this is how."

People with true God-given passion for ministry know the reality of God breathing His purpose through His Spirit into their lives. The calling is His and they are driven by that knowledge. When they say, "we will," they realize that it is only happening as God works through them. They are inspired and inspire others.

Open-Faced "Outwardness"
Not necessarily extroverts, passionate people love to talk about their mission and cause. It splashes out of their lives and is contagious. Each person is different. Some prefer to talk one-on-one, others before groups, and others through the printed word. But even shy people, when infected with passion, want others to know and to catch the vision.

People with passion are not easily deterred from a mission. It becomes one of the non-negotiable values of their lives. If one thing does not work, they try another. If they fail, they get up and try again. They may get discouraged, but they cannot be defeated. They remember that Jesus promised to build His church so powerfully as a moving force, that that standing static gates of Hades would not be able to withstand her attack. Death cannot stand against life. No lack of anything can limit the ministry of a church or leader with non-negotiable passion. We have a mission. That is a non-negotiable!

How many of you are driven by passion? How many of our churches are passionate about their mission? How many of the members of our churches share the passion of their leaders?

If you are in the spiritual doldrums over a lack of resources, people, finances, leadership, or even spiritual energy, ask God to burn a passion and compassion into your soul that is so uncomfortable that it gets you up and gets you going.

You will be surprised what you can do --- even on a shoestring.