Don't let your how take priority over your why.

We can get caught up in "how we do things" and it's easy to forget why we do what we do. Here are our tips and tools to keep the why as the priority.

The bible has many stories of how God was so desperate to connect with someone that he chose a bizarre way that seemed to eliminate the possibility of a human getting in the way of His plan. The story of the burning bush, the story of Balaam’s donkey, Saul on the road to Damascus are all instances of where God found a way to connect directly with the person He wanted to reach without needing our “help”.

God is the same yesterday, today and forever and STILL can find ways to connect with people despite us. However, He also gives us an invitation to partner with Him in reaching people. Even though He can and will do it with or without us, He prefers to do it in partnership with us and that way we get to enjoy working alongside Him as a “co-labourer”.

The WHY we all live for is the preaching of the Gospel, seeing people’s lives touched and transformed by the power of God. We all long to be involved in producing content that is transformational and we love hearing stories of when this happens as a direct result of the work we do.

We also love the HOW. We are creatives who LOVE creating content, pushing the boundaries of our creative expression and innovation is in our blood. Our creativity is “God Given” and is to be celebrated. We should use it as part of how we capture and broadcast content. BUT this “how” must always be subservient to the WHY, the preaching of the Gospel.

One of the lessons I have learned that continues to be key for me in my work is how I can walk the line of not allowing my HOW, my method, my skill or my desire to be creatively awesome get in the way of the message and the WHY. It’s vital that we learn to keep the main thing the main thing – that the broadcasting of the Gospel always needs to be the priority – above HOW it is done.

It is easy for those of us who work or serve in media to allow our craft and creativity to dominate us and become our priority. The desire to be as creative as possible is at times all-consuming and I have been guilty of this many times. I remember once sitting in a TV truck, watching a director “butcher” the coverage of an event I was broadcasting, sitting there thinking I could do a much better job and instead of realising that God was able to reach people through the work we were doing, I quickly turned towards critiquing the style or the quality of this director’s work rather than focusing on the truth that the Gospel was being preached. I look back now and realise how out of alignment with God I was in those times. I don’t believe that God is sitting in heaven looking down at something that isn’t creative (by my definition of creativity) thinking how much better it could be. NO, He is looking at what is being done and working out how He can use it to love people, that is ALWAYS His WHY.

I am not saying that creativity isn’t important, we should always seek to do the best work we can, up our game, get better and seek to improve our skills when it comes to our craft, but we should not allow our pursuit of the HOW to dominate the importance of the WHY.

How then can we do this?

We need to keep connected to God IN the moment, understanding His heart is to reach people and not to have a great (or creatively brilliant) production. Then we need to be self-aware and practise stepping out of His way and allowing Him to take responsibility for the results.

It isn’t easy, and I have failed more times in this than I have succeeded, and that’s OK because EVEN when I fail, God has still reached people through what I have done – isn’t that amazing!! In truth, some of the times where I felt the least creative or “in the zone” or where I felt that what “I” had achieved was at best average and far below my standard were the times where we heard the best stories and testimonies of lives changed. That is why I am can confidently say it is NOT ABOUT US, it is all about Him.

Let me encourage you today, learn how to recognise God working through you, learn how to become self-aware and conscious of when you are letting your HOW get in the way of your WHY and what He wants to do through you.

One final tip – feast on stories. I talk about this more in my article “How can we cultivate a servant’s heart?” but nothing will help you more in your quest to keep the main thing the main thing than exposing yourself to stories and testimonies of how God has met people’s deep needs through the work you have done. Seek these stories out and read them whenever you need encouragement and it will help you keep your HOW subservient to your WHY.

I would love to hear your "why", would you let me know what it is in the comments? I said to "feast on stories" let's share ours.

Categories: Foundation, Leadership, Strategy

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