I just finished reading a book called “Start With Why”, written by Simon Sinek. This is not a Christian book but it is fundamentally about how people make decisions and how to lead them well by leveraging that.
According to the author, there is a “Golden Circle”: “What” – “How” – “Why”. He says it matches with our human brain, namely Neocortex and Limbic Brain. The neocortex is the outer part of a brain and handles logical information (facts). Limbic Brain is situated in the deep part of a brain and handles emotion (such as trust and loyalty)
Simon states that people make important and repeated decisions based on emotion, not information. And what triggers emotion is not “what” but “why”. In other words, when we begin to understand someone’s why, we begin to give our trust and best effort. Interesting thing is, when people become clear about “why” of an organization or company, they become inspired and inspired people do something significant, not for the organization or company but for themselves. Because they “feel” that it is the right thing to do.
This is why people line up hours outside the Apple store to get the newest iPhone. Logically, you just need to wait two weeks to pick it up at the store without a lineup. But those who understand “why” apple exists, they would give their best loyalty to the company, not for the company but for themselves.
This is very important for the church as well. When the church becomes all about “what” we do, we lose focus and energy. Going to Sunday Service, taking Bible Study and going to House Church are all good things. These are “what” we do. But without understanding “why” we do what we do, our church can lose energy and focus.
Our mission is leading people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus because that is the purpose of church’s existence, set by Jesus. We do house church ministry because that is how Jesus made disciples, not through teaching but through modeling his lifestyle. We delegate pastoral ministries to shepherds and shepherds’ spouse because that is the role of lay-people instructed by the Apostles. Lastly, we appoint shepherds based on their level of servanthood, not Bible knowledge because Jesus made it clear that true leaders lead by serving with love, not through knowledge.
Ultimately, the reason why we serve the church is because church has the best news ever told that Jesus conquered sin and death and made everlasting life made available to ALL PEOPLE through his death and resurrection. And there are still way too many people living without knowing this wonderful news. If there is one organization that has the clearest “why”, it would be the church.