Article by Colton Dyck
One of the most troublesome areas in anyone’s life, whether personally or in christian leadership, is the issue of motivation. I think this is, partly, due to the fickle nature that we have towards it which makes us feel more as though we are being acted upon by it rather than using it to our advantage. For, whatever we do not understand we cannot benefit from actively, only passively. But, when we as christian leadership can understand something and rise above it, then we can begin to not only benefit from it but wield and mold it to our own liking. What I have found is that I can create motivation through proper initialization. That which I begin, I can also finish.
This subject of motivation is one which has impacted me in many ways and has been spoken about by church leaders and about church health, but in my secular arena i was managing a crew of programmers and artists, leading in ministry/missions trips, and even now running my own freelance development company. Motivation has played a role in my effectiveness in all of these areas, but as time progresses, I have found that I can actually mold motivation to work for me rather than against me.
Earlier on in my career as a 3D artist, I dabbled in freelancing with the odd project here and there, but I never really enjoyed it, and I had a hard time actually following through and finishing projects, which led to some unhappy clients. I simply felt like I didn’t have the motivation to work on freelance projects after a long day already working at my day job. But, this, as it turns out, was my undoing in those earlier years, I thought that motivation was something that comes and goes and is not controllable! Through ministry coaching and life coaching I came to understand how wrong I was! I did not understand that I could, in fact, create motivation because I did not understand how to act upon it rather than just having it act upon me.
The breakthrough came when I began really paying attention to human behaviors and the ways in which I naturally think. I found that my mind could be likened to the laws of physics, if I could set it in motion, then it will remain in motion until something else tries to stop it. The only problem then was how I could get it into motion in the first place. I required an initial push to gain some momentum, and in my personal life, that initial push was a sheer determination in forcing myself to sit down at my computer and work, even when I didn’t feel like it. To my surprise, once I began working on something and forced myself to shift my mind into gear for that project, I found that force of the momentum of that initial willpower would carry me through into completing what I had to do that day. In fact, I find it hard to switch tasks once I have set my momentum into something, but again I can just refocus my mind onto my next task and re-initialize my direction of energy until the momentum, once again, takes over. Truly it has become so simple an idea as this: I can finish anything that I begin.
In most situations, providing that someone is listening and I have their respect in some way, I can simply ask a well-placed question, and this question can be enough to shift their mind out of the listless state it finds itself in. While on a missions trip in France, in church small groups, I would use this to help focus our team back on the moment at hand if I noticed them gravitating towards their phones or inactivity. To one girl, who seemed disconnected and lost in the depths of her mind, I gently asked her, “What is the Lord doing/saying in the room right now?”, and that was all it took. Immediately I saw her come back into focus, engage with the Lord, and then even start looking for people to prophesy over. I did not need to point out to her why I did that, I did not even have to tell her that she was disconnected, but through a subtle shifting of her mind via a question, I could alter her train of thought and allow the Lord to redirect her back into His purposes for that time.
I also try to apply this when I get to explain to someone their identity in Christ. After I have explained to them who they are, who lives inside them, and what power and personality is now their new normal, I also create opportunities for them to now put that truth into practice by getting them to prophesy over or pray for healing for someone else. I firmly believe that if I can redirect how someone thinks and then give them the opportunity to put it into practice, I can both redirect them and give them that initialization which breeds momentum and thus set them up to be able to start living out a life of purity and power from the start!