Being a leader is something that many of us may never think about in our vocations outside the church. We hear of being leaders all of the time inside the church, but applying those leadership skills to our everyday lives isn’t always something that’s on our mind, simply because sometimes we don’t recognize the need to be a leader when we’re a cashier, waiter, or even a student. But there is always the need for a leader.
The women at Gateway church in Dallas, Texas are currently going through a leadership class that they call Wild. My church, Victory, has adapted and joined in this study of leadership for the high school seniors and college students to teach us how to be leaders, both inside the church and outside.
Recently we learned some of the specific qualities common amongst leaders, whether they be leaders in the church, political leaders, or anyone else that may be in a position of authority. One of the common qualities we discussed is passion.
In our class, all of the students were asked why we had a passion for what we wanted to do during or after college, and when we were asked on the spot, many of us drew a blank as our leader requested deeper answers than “Because I really like it!”. We weren’t really sure how to answer the “why?” behind our decisions, we just knew, somehow.
Then our leader told us he was going to help us be able to answer that question of “why?” by giving us the Seven-Question Test. This test isn’t necessarily designed to reveal “spiritual passion”. Though it certainly can, it is actually designed to help us determine why we want to do things in life, such as apply for a certain job, date a certain person, or even attend a certain school. It’s very simple, and it may seem a little cheesy. But when we focus on our answers and really reflect on our hearts, we start to understand our passion better.
This is how the test goes: ask yourself (or, if in a group, ask each other) “Why do you want to be ___?” Or, “Why do you want to do ____?” Be specific in the questions and then when you (or they) answer, ask, “Why?” again, but this time inserting whatever was mentioned in the previous answer. Here’s an example of 3 questions:
Question 1: “Why do you want to be a literary agent?”
Answer: “Because I love talking to both the publishers and the authors.”
Question 2: “Why do you love talking to both publishers and authors?”
Answer: “Because I like understanding books from both of their points-of-view.”
Question 3: “Why do you like understanding books from both points-of-view?”
Answer: “Because I feel like I can be more personal to the author in understanding the message of their book and recommending them accurately, if I can equally understand the publisher’s wants and needs for knew clients and products.”
And etc etc. Can you see how by the 7th question one is asked, his/her answers will be getting deeper and deeper into the heart of their desire? I certainly did. By the last question, I felt like I knew myself so much better than I had before the test because I was answering things that I had never even thought about. It also built confidence in why I had my passion and made me want to chase it even more!
Being a leader is about more than just having a passion. It’s also about understanding why we have that passion, and by sharing it with others, they can back us when we need backing, support us when we need supporting, and understand us when we need to be understood.
I encourage you to take the Seven-Question Test whenever you find it convenient and to write down your answers in a notebook so you can come back to it if you ever feel like you are losing your passion. Answer the questions truthfully and you’ll be surprised by how deep it gets!
Do you know why you have a passion for what you do? Did you take the test and like your results? Please share your thoughts and comments with us so we can share in your passion!
Rayleigh Gray – Column: Tap into Your Potential