Fir extinguisher

Tim Alford

Leadership 101 - Turn it up, part 2

Passion killers.

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.” - Romans 12:11.

And it begs the question, if I were to hand you a spiritual thermometer today, what would be your temperature reading? Freezing up? Lukewarm? Or bubbling over because it’s hot enough to boil?

We all want to be leaders who are so filled with a contagious passion, and purpose, that the people around us can’t help but catch it from us. So if you find yourself ‘lacking in zeal’ today, what can you do about it? How can you turn up the heat to boiling point?

I have come to believe that "keeping our spiritual fervour" has as much to do with what we tear down as what we turn up. That’s why the next three articles will be dedicated to reflecting on nine potential 'passion killers' that, if left unidentified and dealt with, will rob us of our zeal.


The primary way to lose your passion is to lose your time with God. There is a direct correlation between our proximity and our passion: The closer we are to him, the hotter our passion boils, but distance diminishes our passion.

Conversely, it’s when we’re close to him that our vision is clearer, our resilience stronger, our courage greater, and our passion more contagious. It’s when we’re close to him that our soul comes alive.

As Brad Lomenick reminds us, “prayer … is one of the best ways to fan the flame of spiritual passion. We can’t live for God if we don’t connect with God.” So ensure you have enough time with God to sustain what you're doing for God.


We all know about it, and yet we all still fall for it. Comparison is one of the most common passion killers because, in an age of social media, we compare our beginnings to everyone else’s endings; our worst bits to everyone else’s best bits, resulting in that familiar feeling of being out-classed and under-qualified. We give up on the passions that run through our veins because we convince ourselves that everyone else is already doing it better.

So how do we avoid this passion killer? Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who some else is today.


What matters most in inspiring team members is to work alongside a passion-filled leader. But cynicism is the antithesis of passion. It is equally contagious but entirely destructive; it will destroy the passion in you, and in those you lead.

Cynicism reveals itself in sarcasm and negativity, where passion is revealed in encouragement and hope. And I know which leader I’d rather be.

Leader, you must ruthlessly eliminate cynicism from your life, your teams, and your ministries. Do not stand for it. Build your ministry by having a contagious passion, not a destructive cynicism. Be passionate about what God has called you to do, not cynical about what he has called someone else to do.

Losing Your Why.

You didn’t get into youth or children’s ministry for the paycheque, you got into it because your passion compelled you to.

You started serving in this ministry with a strong sense of the call of God, and a passion to see his kingdom come in the lives of your children and young people.

Yet somehow, over time, perhaps without even noticing it, you became so consumed with what you were doing that you gradually began to forget why you were doing it. The fire that once burned in your heart to see God’s kingdom come began to dwindle, and the thing you once did out of passion, you began to do out of duty.

If that’s you, this would be a good moment to remind yourself of Jesus’ invitation to come back to your first love. Remind yourself of your why, the reason you got into this in the first place, and allow that passion to be rekindled in your heart again.

Nelson Mandela once said, “There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” So leader, let’s not settle for less than God’s best. Turn it up ...

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Director of LIMITLESS

Tim Alford lives in Malvern with is wife Jen, son Tobijah and daughter Aria.

He is the National Director of LIMITLESS, the youth movement of Elim Pentecostal Churches in the UK and Ireland. He is a passionate communicator of the gospel, having spoken at churches, conferences, schools and events all over the world. Tim is the former frontman of [dweeb], a frustrated supporter of Arsenal, and has on more than one occasion been to the cinema in Star Wars fancy dress.


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