February 16th, 2010

Rousing the Human Heart with Words of Purpose

It’s fascinating how the social sciences reveal what the Bible makes so plain. In a recent book entitled Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink unpacks what he calls “motivation 3.0.” What are the surprises? Basically Pink does excellence work explaining that the extrinsic motivators, like making more money, pale in comparison to intrinsic ones.  The three top internal motivators that he builds the book around are:

  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Purpose

Here is a nugget from the “purpose” chapter of the book, which of course, is the clarity evangelist’s favorite part. Pink discusses the power of words and quotes from management guru, Gary Hamel. 

Words matter. And if you listen carefully, you might begin to hear a slightly different- slightly more purpose-oriented dialect. Gary Hamel says, “The goals of management are usually described in words like efficiency, advantage, value, superiority, focus, and differentiation. Important as these objectives are, they lack the power to rouse human hearts.” Business leaders, he says, “must find ways to infuse mundane business activities with deeper, soul-stirring ideals such as honor, truth, love, justice, and beauty.” Humanize what people say, and you may well humanize what they do.

If we, as a ministry leaders, want to rouse human hearts, we must learn to drip words of purpose into a daily dialogue. As we do, we follow the legacy of Jesus himself and every God-breathed word in Scripture. The first three verses that come to mind are:

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Jesus Christ (Mark 10:45)

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  Gospel of Mark (1:16-17)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:8)

If you want to learn from others who are “delivering vision daily,” check out my post on Open Source Vision Casting. If you would like to probe the content of Drive a bit more (and if you like movies instead of books) check out this TED video on the subject.

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