Start with Why

In a high school journalism class, I learned the importantance of answering the who, what, when, where, why and how questions when writing.  And that was also the order in which the unwritten questions were generally answered.  But our 2010 Kentucky state missions emphasis began with Why?  We asked the question “Why do we do what we do in state missions?” and structured the materials to answer the question. The answer was the lostness of our state and ultimately we wanted to challenge Kentucky Baptists to learn, pray, give, and go to do something about it. 

I have recently been introduced to the Simon Sinek and his mantra of  “Start with Why.” After viewing a video of one of his presentations, I knew we had started with the right question.  You can listen to Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, on You Tube ( 

During the recent National WMU® January Board Meeting, we focused on the Why of WMU.  Our why boils down to one word: missions.  Every approach, organization, and product exists because WMU is committed to missions – doing missions, teaching missions, supporting missions, and making missions a lifestyle.

We even had a class on better communicating the why of WMU through blogs, Facebook, web pages, and more.  I liked this suggestion for summarizing the purpose of WMU in a blog: “WMU challenges Christians to dive head first into God’s mission. And we’ve been challenging people since 1888. Beat that for longevity!”

I’ve already been asked to be in several churches and associations in the coming months for Focus on WMU and other events. Wherever I speak, I will start with why!  The answer drives everything else.  When people connect with why, then the how and what WMU offers becomes much more important.

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About Joy Bolton

Joy Bolton is a life-long WMUer! Through Woman's Missionary Union, Joy has has served as a church, association, and state leader. She has coordinated many international missions teams and is available as a conference leader, speaker, Bible study leader. Joy is now retired and lives in Summerville, SC.