My favorite of the 5 W’s

In education there are typically 5 “W” questions to ask (and of course one “H”). These are: Who, What, Why, When, Where (and How). In ministry I think that it can typically be said that answering the Who-What-When-Where questions often have easier answers than answering “Why.” I think it’s because many times we can touch or physically see the Who (the people), the What (activity), the When (time-frame), and the Where (location). “Why” is in many ways much more subjective- in the eye of the beholder. Maybe the reason asking and answering “Why” is so enjoyable to me is because I like to frolic in the realm of ideas, mystery, philosophy, theology, and faith.

One thing that I have learned from many ministry mentors is- “Know why you do what you do, so that you can do it well and lead purposefully.” I am so thankful for the time that I spend asking “Why” I do the relationship-building, Bible teaching, games, and extra activities…but I am even more thankful for God who defines my purpose in life and ministry, and for the people that I get to lead alongside of towards those goals and with the children in the church I serve in. That’s because the “Why” must always have a particular outcome of concrete relational, organizational, and spiritual goals. Jesus’ mission was to do God’s business. God’s business particularized itself by him preaching the Good News, calling people to repentance, and healing people of their broken spiritual, physical, relational, and emotional needs. Not everyone listened to him, and not everyone in all of Israel was healed; but he still remained faithful to the call of God in his life, which was to be “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (Jn. 1:29)”

Don’t forget to ask “Why” in your life and ministry because God wants us to seek him for wisdom and understanding to follow him and lead others to him as well.

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