December 12, 2022 by in Leadership Blog

I did a personality test earlier this year, and one of the results stated that I ‘live in a constant state of discontent.’ It means I’m always on the move, always looking for the next task to complete or the next goal to achieve. No matter how great a day I’ve had, I could have done something better. Even on holiday I’ve got my list of books to read, sights to see and places to eat. This year it has culminated in the planning of my latest project for over the Christmas break, building a new dining and seating area in our home. Cue Amy’s confusion (frustration) when 34 meters of reclaimed scaffold boards were delivered to us last week (it’s going to be epic).

When I match this trait with my highly competitive spirit I’m faced with the downside; nothing is ever good enough. My performance at work? To be improved. The latest ministry programme? Here are five things we missed. The last project ticked off at home? This one tweak would have made all the difference…

If I’m not careful, it can cause me to live with a weight on my shoulders. I can’t stop, I can’t be thankful, there’s always more to achieve. The desire to improve is positive. Striving for excellence is to be admired. Not stopping to acknowledge all the good, to thank God for what he is doing, to appreciate the wins – that’s where I struggle.

A research study completed by Harvard Health last year found that, ‘gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.’[1]

Paul understood this when penning his letter to the church in Colossae:

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:15-17 (emphasis mine)

Serving in youth ministry, it’s rare a night goes completely to plan. Technology doesn’t work, young people don’t behave, games and messages aren’t as polished as you’d hope. But, in OC Youth Gloucester, we always end the night in the same way. Sat together as leaders for debrief, everyone shares one ‘win’ of the night. It’s not us trying to gloss over the mayhem that has just taken place. It’s the team coming together to recognise that, even in the chaos, God has the ability to move and to change lives. If we don’t pause, if we choose to judge success only by the execution of our pre-planned programmes, we can so easily miss what God is doing. This brings the weight of discontent on top of the already heavy burden of leadership, and robs God of the gratitude He deserves as He outworks His plan in our life.

As 2022 draws to a close, we have the perfect opportunity to put gratitude into action. For a moment, put aside your pre-conceived ideas of what you wanted to see and achieve this year. Instead, sit back and ask God to reveal to you what he’s been doing and building, in and through you. Let the thread of discontent that can ravage us as leaders be replaced with praise for the God who continues to move in our ministries. As Paul himself would advise, let’s end the year singing to God with gratitude in our hearts.

Greg Wooster


    Etiam magna arcu, ullamcorper ut pulvinar et, ornare sit amet ligula. Aliquam vitae bibendum lorem. Cras id dui lectus. Pellentesque nec felis tristique urna lacinia sollicitudin ac ac ex. Maecenas mattis faucibus condimentum. Curabitur imperdiet felis at est posuere bibendum. Sed quis nulla tellus.


    63739 street lorem ipsum City, Country


    +12 (0) 345 678 9