Motives questioned

Topic / Leadership

I’m really encouraged by part of Perry Noble’s blog yesterday:

People Will Always Question Your Motives

You had better know why you do what you do…because there are tons of people out there who will be glad to tell others why you do what you do…and it will actually have nothing to do with why you are doing what you are doing. (WOW–that could be confusing…I hope it made sense!)

Ed Young said yesterday that people have always questioned why he did what he did. He made the comment that people criticized the kind of car he drove and the kind of house he lived in when he was driving a clunker and living in a dump…so he knew if they did it then that it would never stop.

It is very healthy to question your own motives…VERY healthy; however, understand that, as a leader, you will never…and I mean EVER…be able to explain yourself to some people…and you will waste VALUABLE kingdom time trying to do so.

I’ve heard it said so well…your friends won’t need an explanation…and your enemies won’t believe you anyway!

Making decisions is part of life. For most people, decisions rarely influence anyone other than themselves, but in ministry our decisions can affect many people in many different ways, sometimes in ways that are perceived negatively. When this happens motives are often questioned, values are imposed upon the decision, and sometimes people downright disagree with it on all sorts of levels. Nine times out of ten, however, it seems that these are the people who do not have the full story or understand what takes place behind scenes of the ministry, nor is it their business to know. I feel tempted to spill the whole story in attempts to justify myself, but that would do more harm than good and would also cause me to stoop to a level of immaturity where I’m not willing to go. I just remind myself that it’s okay if people think poorly of me; I’m not in ministry for popularity. What’s important is that I do what’s right, walk in integrity and take whatever consequences come as a result.

Posted on March 22, 2006

  • Tim

    Not publically defending ourselves, 3% of the story, unhealthy conclusions, yeah. A perfect receipe for emotional chaos.

    I totally understand how you feel, Jason. Apparently this is real life in ministry, doing what's right even if few people understand why. Kinda helps me understand a little better how Jesus must've felt during His ministry. It's obviously not about self-preservation — it's about glorifying God even if it kills us. (…a little dramatic, but you get the point.)

  • Yeah,

    I guess it just becomes a problem that guessing someones motives is just below un-godly criticism and judgement. If your friends don’t need an explanation, Then they aren’t really going to question your motives to begin with. They believe the best about you. The ones that jump to unhealthy conclusions and believe the worst are the ones that begin to start factions and create dischord. That comes from a lack of trust in leadership. Without trust, superficial friendship, superficial friendship=superficial community= ect…

    I guess this touches a nerve because I’m about an hour from a meeting where there are serious accuasations against myself and other leaders. The group accusing feels justified contacting everyone in the directory to “gauge” there feelings about leadership and church direction. We would do good to not have to defend ourselves, but in reality there is an entire confused community that has 3% of the neccesary knowledge. Who knows what to do other than humble ourselves under Gods mighty hand and beg for mercy.

    Sorry for blowiing off some steam.! blessings.

  • Ann

    Only God can judge motives because only He can see the heart. Unfortunately, we can only judge actions which is why it so important to live lives of integrity before men.
    Results aren't the only criteria in ministry, but the process by which we achieve those results is often more critical to the equation.
    Ministers who spell out exactly what they expect from themselves and from others, as guided by the truth of Scripture and the Holy Spirit, should have nothing to be ashamed about.
    We have been entrusted with a precious commodity, God's Word and His people -show yourself to be faithful to that trust and you will never need to fear. Yeah, you might lose a job or face an angry mob, but you know that you can stand before God with your conscience clear.
    Far too often the lack of trust is deserved -we haven't communicated well, we're inconsistent or we're lazy. None of these things were reasons why people didn't trust Jesus -it's because HE'S SCARY. It scary to think of what He'll do (in us and through us) if we really allow Him to be the Sovereign Lord of All.

    If they ain't gonna trust you, have it be because you're gonna help their kids become major Jesus freaks(good scary), not because they're afraid you'll blow up the church and kill their child(bad scary).

New eBookGo
Focused Youth Ministry ebook

85% off!

Focused Youth Ministry

This practical "how to" ebook will walk you through a 30-step process to discovering God's vision for your unique ministry context. The process also shows you how to implement that vision and put metrics in place to evaluate what is moving the vision forward and what isn't.

Price: $12.95 Limited time: $1.99