It was one of those ‘aha’ moments you hope for in every coaching conversation. You know… when a truth hits home so hard and you can almost smell the smoke from the new fire that’s been lit? Only this time, the ‘aha’ was mine. Oh, I think my PBC caught a glimpse of it too, but the real learner in that conversation was me.

The conversation was one I’ve had many times. I coach a number of pastors – many of whom have a good bit of experience under their belts. And one theme that emerges with some regularity is the idea of significance. Many are beginning to focus on how they can best spend the remaining 5, 10, or 15 years in ministry to have maximum kingdom impact. They’re looking to end well….to have some significance in the world.

This particular conversation shared that theme and what seemed like a simple, but probing, question yielded a treasure trove of meaning and significant meat on which I’ve been feasting ever since.

In response to a statement by my PBC, I asked him “So what is the difference between being rewarded for what you do, and what you do being rewarding?” At first I wondered if the question had been heard and understood for it was followed by some extended period of silence. Then slowly, as if in one of those war movies where time almost stops…. the truth of the question hit me like a ton of bricks.

Am I more focused on being rewarded or doing something rewarding?

If I were honest, I’d have to say that at least as much attention is given to the first part as the second. Is that good enough? Does that reflect my values? Is it realistic to shift more of my focus to the second one?

I suspect that my PBC has spent some time wrestling with this since our conversation. I know that I have. How about you?

What would have to change in order for you to focus more on doing things that are rewarding… personally, spiritually rewarding? How will that shift make a difference to those with whom you share life?

Here’s to many more ‘ahas’!