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The Christian Art of Motivation

LEADERSHIP readers appreciated the wisdom of this article when it was published nearly ten years ago.

Recently, in a phone conversation, the writer, Roger Thompson, said, "A decade deeper into life and ministry, I am more convinced than ever that guilt (more properly called shame) was never intended as the fuel of Christian enterprise."

It was going to be great! A youth trip with a purpose. Out of our group of twenty-five high scholars, twenty-two had signed up for seven days of nothing but service and discipleship. We were serious: eight hours of work each day, plus Scripture memory and Bible study.

We had talked up, psyched up, and signed up every available body. That's what comes from good teaching, strategizing, and planning, I told myself. And the kids were even paying their own way!

The final week came. As I made call after call, the excuses mounted. Heavy lines crossed off all the leaders and most of the followers. I was reduced to begging. Instead of an impressive caravan of youth ...

January/February
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