Ask Yourself This Question During Difficult, Trying or Confusing Times (b194)

Oh, man, was I tired last Sunday morning!

One of the things you can’t do as a pastor is take a sick day on Sunday just because you are tired. As frosting on this “tired-day” cake, I had Confirmation Class from 1pm-3pm Sunday afternoon. I seriously considered cancelling Confirmation Classes because I was head-nodding, micro-napping tired.

BUT I had listened to a podcast earlier in the week that offered me one simple question to help guide and motivate my decisions in the right direction. Asking this one question got me through the worship service (which went very well) and through Confirmation class (which also went very well).

I heard this question on a podcast by Andy Stanley, a pastor and leadership guy.  For most of the podcast, the question was framed in terms of leadership. A leader can ask him or herself this question when confronted with the temptation to compromise, give up, cling to old ways of doing things, or in just about any circumstance. The question is this:

What would a great leader do?

This question is not just limited to leadership, however. It can help you in a wide variety of circumstances.

What would a great _______ do?

For me, I asked myself, “What would a great pastor do?” This question digs into your own goals and motivations. It pushes you to lean toward your best self. I was very tired. What would a great pastor do? Would a great pastor back off and give Sunday morning a maintenance effort instead of best effort? Would a great pastor cancel a class just because that pastor was tired? No and no.

I want to be a great pastor so after asking myself what a great pastor would do, I did what a great pastor would do. And everything went well. Just as important, I maintained consistent performance as a pastor, which is an important part of leadership.

It’s not just for leaders, though. You can use this question in any situation:

  • What would a great parent do?
  • What would a great manager do?
  • What would a great employee do?
  • What would a great husband do?
  • What would a great wife do?
  • What would a great teacher do?
  • What would a great maintenance worker do?
  • What would a great lawyer do?

You get the idea.

Of course, you might have to reconsider your idea of what a great _______ would do if your idea is a little messed up. (For instance, if you think a great mom would never say, “no,” to her kids or a great worker puts in 80 hours per week regardless of his family’s needs.) But assuming your definition of greatness is on track, this question can do great things in your mindset, motivation and energy level for what you are doing.

Try asking yourself this question and see if it doesn’t move you in a direction that you want to go in. It worked for me last Sunday and it worked for me today.

What would a great blogger do? Find something great to blog about and get it out there because people need it!


Andy Stanley has two separate podcasts, one specifically on leadership and one more about life in general called, “Your Move.” I haven’t listened to “Your Move,” but I almost always find Andy Stanley graceful, educational and motivational. Give him a listen and see if you agree. Let me know in the comments section.

CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast I was listening to

CLICK HERE for Andy’s podcast page listing his two different podcasts (and weekly sermon cast)