Motive for Ministry in the Church

Rick Mattson Church, Devotion Leave a Comment

In my last post I mentioned my difficult decision at Grace Church Roseville to leave the music ministry in order to serve in adult education (our curriculum is called “Catalysts”).

The main reason (of several) for making the move is gifting. Teaching is my sweet spot.

Think of your church for a moment. Do you see people serving in places for which they’re not gifted?

In my travels to college campuses around the country, I also hit a lot of churches! I see it all the time: Round pegs in square holes.

Of course, sometimes it can’t be helped. Sometimes there just aren’t enough willing servants to fill all the needed positions at church.

Then you just serve “where needed most.”

But assuming an adequate pool of workers exists, why don’t they land in the right slots, quite often?

I can think of many reasons. Here is one:

Unchecked motives.

A sampling, then, of what I consider to be good and not-so-good motives for choosing a ministry slot:


  • to humbly serve others
  • to use my spiritual and natural gifts for God’s work
  • to fit into the overall ministry plan of my church*
  • to get my political and stylistic agenda across
  • to be noticed, acclaimed, respected by others
  • to run my own ministry under the umbrella of my church

As I come to various forks in the road of my life, I’ve noticed that my spiritual director, Wayne Thyren, shows little interest in which way I go. Left or right, he usually doesn’t care.

What he cares about (and asks me about) is why.

Motives, my friends. It’s all about motives.

*assuming such a plan exists

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