"As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you." I Thessalonians 2:6b-9
Paul is responding to people who had doubts about his ministry and call, so he responds to the fruits he bore and shows the example of following the call by his life and work. To follow our call requires courage and passion that flows from what Christ did, that we respond to with vigor. That desire and vigor will be the love of the call and enable us to press on to the goal of pleasing God, with our vigorous service in His name. In leadership, anything we say or do must be a pleasing sight to the Lord. It is not enough to know our call, for we all are called, but we must respond to it with desire, passion, and excitement.
Our relationships, our tasks, our talents, and how we carry ourselves in the role of leadership must flow from our love of Christ, and the responding love of His call. Any hostility or obstacles we face in leadership, especially as it applies to people, must be met as Christ would. Jesus was not in the business of pleasing himself, but His Father. He was modeling obedience and love. We too must follow suit with our obedience and willingness to be His child. To grow in His service with excitement, while not being a burden in our attitudes and work. The result will be the moving away from our needs to the needs of others and the call of our Lord.
Passion means there is nothing better you would rather do than….! For a person called to ministry, they must firmly believe that there is nothing else they would rather do, even through personal sacrifice. This means having no conditions or expectations in the way. If you feel that way and it has been tested, then you are called to ministry. Passion is an essential element of any endeavor in order to be able to succeed at a higher level. The person who is really into a movement or political view and spends a lot of energy and time fighting for it will be more influential and involved than the person who may have the same view but are not consumed by it. It is the same with the Christian walk and faith. You will grow closer to Christ and in mature faith by "getting into it" with all your energies. Versus just desiring to have a love for the call but unwilling to place the effort, time and passion into it. It must be with passion and a great desire and love of our Lord. Enthusiasm is the fuel that empowers leadership and gives us the love for the call that we have been given. Enthusiasm is the pipe that flows the earnest endeavor of our work and service. With this passion will come the natural desire to do our best for God's glory. Out of the gratitude will come the desire to please God, and the desire to please will synergistically combine with the passion to produce the love of His call. When we love the call, then we are attentive to the needs and expectations of the people we serve. Thus our service is coming out of our love of doing it instead of out of an obligation. Just like the person who loves their hobby and spends a majority of their time and desire on it verses the person forced to do something they do not like doing.
The call of God is always present. The question that people raise is how do I know what I'm called to do? This generally results from not listing to the call in the first place. And the best place to look is in our jar of talents and abilities. If you like to work on mechanical things then you may be destined for engineering, but if you prefer to argue with everyone then maybe engineering is not your thing, think about becoming a lawyer. The call is a summons to bring our faith into alignment with God's will and the gifts and abilities He gives. So in leadership, this transfers into the desire and willingness to do our best in a particular service. As with myself, after I was converted to the faith, I had the desire to teach God's Word. For it can be a myriad of tasks from missions to dishes. We all have a place in the church with our gifts, it is our responsibility to find them out, be used in them, and grow in discipleship in those abilities by having more experienced and mature Christians mentor us.