I did this exercise on the spur of the moment: I started typing the roles I have that I am most passionate about. The top two were spontaneous and have no official relevance in my work whatsoever:
Teacher truth-teller organizer leader father friend social worker minister
What is the title you hold, the role you play, that encompasses and transcends all the official titles and recognized roles you’re known for?
For me, as I consider all the things I do or want to do, all the ways my passions manifest themselves, they all bend back toward one thing-
Church planter- teacher
Social worker- teacher
This has little to do with having “students.” As a husband I feel that I am a teacher, but not because my wife is a pupil who needs me to pour knowledge into her. She has taught me a lot, maybe more than I could teach her. But it has to do with my desire to communicate something that enriches her, betters her in some way, and helps her grow as a person.
Because I don’t see myself as knowing anything, but as someone who is learning and wants others to learn with me.Know your “why” so you can hang on. Image by author
Why is this so important?
I’m all about helping people who want to have sustainable ministry or work- they want to last. You have to know why all the menial stuff matters, and there is no way to know that without knowing what ties it all together for you. “Church planter” and “Program Supervisor” don’t do that for me. But I’ve found what does. Have you?
When you do your own exercise, you will likely have a different unofficial yet pervasive passion that binds itself around all your pursuits. When you do, I have high confidence that it is one of the greatest gifts God has given you to share with the world around you, and infinitely worthy of you giving everything you have to it.