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From Your WHY to Your WIN

Do you know your WHY? Behind every ministry is a deeper why. There is a reason we do the ministry we do. A reason that compels us to serve others. A mission to achieve. A difference to make. An impact to create.

If you know your WHY. How do you turn your WHY into a WIN?

The barriers to moving from your WHY into your WIN is lack of alignment and lack of clarity. Yes, there can be barriers with resources, people, or logistics >> but many of those can be addressed or overcome with tweaking the plan or adjusting the way we do things.

Have you ever had those moments where you thought you were clear on WHY you were going down a specific path, but you ended up in a totally different place than you expected? Or, looked back and no one was following you down the same path? That kind of disconnect happens when we do not align our why, our how and our what.

A concept introduced by Simon Sinek in his TedTalk has helped me in the work with my clients >> the Golden Circle. He describes it from the perspective of marketing and sales in business, but the concept is even more relevant in ministry where our mission really matters. You can check out his video HERE but let’s look at this Golden Circle through a ministry lens.

Inspiring results requires knowing your WHY and communicating to others from your WHY not your WHAT ~Simon Sinek

Too often we recruit volunteers, engage donors or inspire our teams with WHAT we are going to do. It’s the nuts and bolts, the dates, the timelines, the plan. Join a small group. Volunteer on Wednesday nights in Youth Ministry. Help with office work. Serve as a greeter for our next event.

We go even further and highlight our strategy, our process, our unique way of doing ministry. We offer steps, goals or opportunities. HOW we do things can energize some people if they connect to our method. Others will sit back and just see it as another program.

Our WHAT or HOW is not likely to strike a chord with our people unless there is a clear WHY. People make their decisions from a heart connection – a gut instinct that says YES. They need a compelling reason to do something.

The compelling reason is your WHY. It’s the cause you are taking on. Your purpose and reason for doing what you do. It is your core beliefs about the world and what you need to do to change it. It’s the fuzziest and often hardest to describe. It’s the most inspiring component of your message and anchors all that you do in ministry.

Let’s look a little deeper at these differences. Here is what it might look like if you start with your WHAT.

I have been involved in youth ministry for years and feel passionate about unchurched teens in the neighborhood. So, here’s my plan. I want to launch an after-school program on Wednesdays from 4 – 6 before youth group and promote it to the neighborhood and get volunteers from the church to help me. So, do you want to volunteer on Wednesdays?

Let’s turn the table on this story. Instead of starting with the WHAT or the HOW, let’s start with a WHY.

I see so many unchurched teens in our neighborhood. Questions of faith, identity and lack of connection is a black hole of confusion for teens today. As Christians we can turn this around by offering a place to engage questions and create connection. Because friendship and mentorship fuels faith. We can start with an after-school program on Wednesdays and invite the neighborhood. Want to join me in creating connections that activate faith with teens?

People are inspired to act upon your WHY more than your WHAT or even your HOW. The WHAT and HOW become incredibly motivating when they are linked to a powerful WHY. So, what’s your WHY? How does your WHAT and HOW communicate your WHY? When you have these two clear – you have a WIN!

Working on clarifying your WHY or aligning your WHAT or HOW? Grab a quick power call appointment on my calendar to chat about how I can help.

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Annie Perdue Olson

Annie is founder of Leading Better Together, guiding leaders through the relationship and people challenges that sidetrack ministry. With 20+ years of experience in nonprofit management and pastoral ministry she equips people and teams to work better together. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources and Change Leadership from St. Thomas University and received her coaching certification from the Center of Coaching Excellence.

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