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The Ambition Engine

Ambition can drive us to service to God and others, or it can be a veneer that hides far less noble motivations.

When I entered seminary 12 years ago, I was humbled by many of my classmates. While we all suffered through "suicide Greek" (an intense six-week summer course that only a gifted linguist with a penchant for self-flagellation would enjoy), I learned that some students sacrificed far more than others to follow God's call into pastoral ministry.

Scott left his position as a Navy pilot, with a stable salary and excellent benefits. David left his management job with a Big Three automaker and relocated his family. He attended classes all day and studied while working as a night security guard. I have no idea when he slept.

Gregory, an engineer from China, brought his wife and two young girls from Hong Kong to Chicago—he'd never seen snow before, let alone 12 inches of it covering his car. In six months Gregory taught himself enough English to successfully translate the New Testament from Greek into English, and then into Cantonese for his congregation in Chinatown.

These pastors represent the power ...

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