Currently I have been delighted by the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink. It is definitely worth a read. Instead of waiting until I read the whole book before I reference it, I just want to highlight a few principles in the book in relation to church leadership as I make my journey through it.The topic of extrinsic vs intrinsic motivation is the first thing discussed in this book — perhaps as a foundation for future ideas in the book. Extrinsic motivation would be the reason most people show up to their job. Most people don’t have a passion for selling used cars or filing tax returns, but they are extrinsically motivated to do so because it provides a pay check they can use to give their family a nice home in which to live. Intrinsic motivation is much different because you don’t care what you are being paid for the activity. Rather, you enjoy the feeling of creating progress or giving something that makes the world a better place. Have you ever filled hours of time working on a skill from which you never expect to make money? If so, you are then motivated by intrinsic purposes.
So how does this apply to an action in the church that requires motivation like home teaching? Home teaching is a great example because most priesthood holders deal with it. It seems easy for some and difficult for others. Take a minute to reflect on the home teaching motivators in your life. What is the core motivator that gets you to home teach? What is the motivator that gets others in your quorum to home teach? Is it extrinsic motivation or intrinsic motivation? Are people in the church home teaching because they think they are making a difference in the life of a family or are they home teaching because the elder’s quorum president continues to call with more guilt? And does it really matter if you are intrinsically motivated?
What do you think?