There is nothing more devastating than a group of people who have lost their passion for the mission. Being on a team that has lost the will to win is miserable. Being in an army that has quit fighting is horrible. Being in a business that no longer cares if it succeeds or fails is brutal. Being in a church that no longer cares about the mission of Christ is frustrating for everyone.
How do we lose our passion? What causes a group of people to go from red hot to freezing cold? How can a group of people move from committed to complacent?
Every organization must be on guard for “passion busters,” or people or things that quench passion in an organization. As a pastor, I have seen many of these attack churches, so I’d like to share with you a few passion busters I’ve identified.
Disillusionment! Disillusionment happens when people no longer believe the mission matters, or that it can be accomplished. When people no longer believe or care about the mission, passion begins to fade.
Players on a losing team lose their passion. Soldiers that don’t believe in what they are fighting for are heartless. Church members that have stopped believing in the mission of making disciples see no need to sacrifice for it.
The Church in Acts would have been stopped dead in her tracks if the resurrection had never happened. Not one single person would have preached the gospel or been willing to suffer for the sake of a Savior who was still dead.
Disappointment! Disappointment happens when things don’t go the way you planned or when you feel let down by other people. When you have been hurt or let down, you feel disappointed, and that quenches your passion.
When teammates leave you out, you lose your passion for the mission. When work associates treat you unfairly, you lose your passion for the mission. When club members make you feel unwanted, you don’t care much about the club or its goals anymore. When local church members don’t demonstrate care, you lose your passion for the mission of the Church.
Believers in the early Church would have given up on the mission quickly if there was no fellowship and concern for one another. Passion begins to die when people stop caring for each other.
Disagreement! Disagreement happens when people have different opinions on how things should be done or who should be doing them. When people disagree on things in a way that causes tension and devision, it can quench people’s common passion for the mission.
A sports team that is consumed by disagreement will lack passion. A business that is filled with disagreement will be toxic and passionless. A government that can’t agree is a government with divided passions. A church that is fighting is a church that is no longer passionate about the mission.
The early Church had some problems, but the people in it overcome those problems quickly. The Church members in Acts did not allow the things they disagreed on to become bigger than the things they did agreed on. The Christians in Acts kept their passion because they dealt with disagreements quickly.
Local churches need a shared passion to accomplish the mission of making disciples. When people don’t share a passion for the mission, the mission does not happen. When you keep the vision clear, the community strong, and the cooperation healthy, your organization’s passion will continue to burn.
Contact impactdisciples.com for more information on how to be a (passionate) disciple making church.
By Ken Adams, Founder and Director of Impact Discipleship Ministries.