Naming Our Passions

Article by Allie Burkhardt, IPSAT Coach at Bloomingdale Church

Steve Moore, the creator of the IPSAT states that “passion is hard to define, but you know it when you see it.”  It is hard to explain what a passion is, but once you recognize it in yourself or someone else, you can name it. This is part of what makes this section of the IPSAT challenging. 

Steve defines passions as “interests and issues that you are self-motivated to spend time learning about and engaging with and influencing others towards, even if it requires self-sacrifice.” He says that often these form out of destiny marker experiences in your life.

There are two types of passions:

  • Interest-based passions—things that people pursue because they are fun and pleasurable (like music is for me), and
  • Issue-based passions—things that people pursue because they bring that person a sense of purpose and fulfillment (like mental health and counseling/personal development are for me)

Both kinds of passions are valuable, and at times, you will see someone combine both interest and issue-based passions in their life in order to serve others.

A Personal Reflection

I remember having a conversation when I was nineteen years old with my boss who asked me to name what I was passionate about. I thought that I couldn’t. Looking back, it seems more to me that at a deep, gut-level, I knew what I was passionate about, but I was afraid to name what it is because I allowed the voices in my head to tell me that my passions were not worthy things to care about. 

I put myself in my own prison because I was unable to own up to the things that I cared about and communicate about those things to people around me, and the whole time, I held the key to release myself, which was trusting in God as well as self-awareness and reflection. 

Naming our passions is frightening. Partially because there is no right answer, and also because it takes time and awareness to reflect on what you are truly passionate about. However, when you name your passions accurately and own up to them, it is freeing. You find that you can engage more deeply with things that you care about, and communicate about what those things are to others. 

Thankfully, through my relationship with God and relationships with others, I have learned to begin to name my passions and engage with them. I am grateful for this as it brings purpose, fulfillment, and enjoyment in my life, and I believe that when we live out the passions that God put inside of us, that brings Him glory. 

I hope that you can have a similar experience to me as you engage with the IPSAT and begin the process of naming your passions.

Allie Burkhardt is an IPSAT Coach at Bloomingdale Church. You can find Allie reading a great book, listening to Switchfoot, and leading a team at Chick-fil-A. You can view Allie’s IPSAT result here and email Allie here.