Just got back from day one of the Forge Intensive. This morning Darryl Gardner (YFC NZ and Anglican priest) spoke on why we do it. By “it” I mean the activities we label as our calling, our ministry, our serving, usually in the context of church or mission. Most of us would say we do it for Jesus, because of our love for God, because of what he has cauled us to do. However, he said that usually this is a cover for a whole lot of other reasons that we are not honest enough to admit. It is like the iceberg image – the bit you can see we call “Jesus”, and underneath the water (let’s say concealed in the work of ministry) lie the real reasons. Things like self-importance (if I didn’t do this it wouldn’t happen, they need me…), the glory (how good am I, look at me…), romance (maybe I will meet the man or woman of my dreams), the desire for power (I’ll support you in your ministry but I actually want your job…). The list goes on. And when these motives are unfulfilled, we move on. We leave the ministry, the church etc. To make things worse, we give spiritual reasons for our lack of fulfillment – “God has other plans”, “I need time to be not do”. “God has called me elsewhere”. “There’s no unity”.
Harsh. But if we are really really honest, we can probably see shades of ourselves in these things. I know I can, as much as I am loathe to admit it. I want pure motives, but don’t often achieve it. The challenge is to actually be honest about it. If we are honest, we can overcome the issues that undergird our wrong motivations, and we can accept responsibility for them. And just maybe, the iceberg can be inverted.