Not long ago, I visited an inner-city church in Washington, D.C. The facility was old, showing years of use, but it was clean and bustling with people on that Tuesday morning.

As the pastor described their various ministries-legal aid, health clinic, tenants association, tutoring program, as well as worship and traditional Christian education-I realized none of this would have happened without the godly ambition of key people.

What causes someone to recognize a need or an injustice and respond with compassion, courage, and wisdom?

Often it's holy ambition, a divinely implanted drive.

This urge to achieve something significant for God is displayed at most of the pastors' gatherings I've attended. Even when the stated agenda is rest and renewal, as we hear about one another's successes, ambition is piqued. Other conversations center on "what I'd hoped to do but was unable to accomplish," and we all walk away feeling, There's more I should be doing.

I appreciate the encouragement to greater effort ...

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