Assembled Passion

Ernest Shackleton was an explorer with exceptional leadership skills who attempted 4 times to lead a group of men to the literal ends of the earth, the South Pole.

After his second trip in 1909, he started recruiting team members for his epic 1914 journey called the Imperial Trans-Antartic Expedition and received, as some have noted, up to 5,000 applicants for this newspaper ad:

Whether or not this ad actually ran in the paper is up for debate, but the statements of a hazardous journey, bitter cold, constant danger and doubtful return are true characteristics of a Shackleton led mission. The men who responded to Shackleton’s recruitment knew exactly what they were getting themselves into. We don’t see many newspaper ads, Facebook updates, tweets, blog posts that have this kind of message, do we?

The 27 men who went on the 1914 expedition with Shackleton were diverse in nature and specialty. There were ship captains, sailors, a surgeon, a biologist, a physicist, a geologist, a photographer, a carpenter, a chaplain, an artist, a meteorologist, a navigator, a dog handler, and more. Despite their unique qualities there is one commonality between these 27 men and all of those who had responded to the newspaper ad,  a passion for adventure.

“Movements don’t create passion – they assemble it.” – Mohan Karulker (aka – Mo, from The Blogging)

The passion for adventure wasn’t created by Shackleton or his newspaper ad, these men already possessed that quality. Shackleton merely assembled that passion for a common mission. Shackleton took 27 ordinary-turned-extraordinary men, assembled their passion, and produced an epic story of endurance. I’ve seen this take place several times within the culture of blogging alone:

  • In the fall of 2009 the readers of Stuff Christians Like raised more than $60,000 to build two kindergartens in Vietnam. Jon Acuff thought it would take a couple of months to raise the money, but after only 18 hours the money was raised! So, he decided to build two. He assembled the passion.
  • In late 2010, Alece Ronzino of, started a focused committment movement called One Word 2011. It didn’t take long before hundreds of bloggers joined the movement of creating and finding their One Word for 2011. She assembled the passion.
  • Last month, Mo from the Blogging, started a twitter movement called #secretHERO that sought to publicly recognize and celebrate as many of the secret heroes as possible. On Friday, April 21, 2011, the hashtag, #secretHERO, targeted and encouraged hundreds of unknowing, secret heroes. He assembled the passion.

Stuff like this is happening not just in the online world, but in communities, local churches, and families. It’s happening everywhere. Visionaries and leaders see passion lying dormant in people and they are creating avenues for that passion to take movement. When will the next assembly of passion take place? Will you be a part of it – or will you be the one assembling it? Will you put a newspaper ad out or start a movement in your local church?

I can almost see Jesus putting out an ad similar to Shackleton’s. Jesus, with his ultimate authority, gave us the mission of making disciples. He is the ultimate creator and assembler of passion, and just like Shackleton and his 27 men did in 1914, we are go the ends of the earth on Jesus’ mission.

What other movements have you seen or been a part of, would you share them with us?

Are you assembling a movement right now, what is it, and how can others join in?


  1. says

    the thing that amazed me the most about #OneWord2011 is that i didn’t set out to start a movement… but by casting vision and, as you said, “assembling the passion”, people just started to rally around an idea that was simple but life-changing.

    oh how many ways i can continue to apply that to my life!

    (thank you for the shout-out!)

    • Ryan Tate says

      You’re welcome Alece. I’m glad that so many people responded to your vision – it was an amazing thing to see! There are probably a whole bunch of passionate people out there just waiting for a visionary to assemble their passion.

  2. says

    Awesome post Ryan! I am pumped right now. Too bad i am about to go to bed. May need to do some writing before hand now. Thanks again.

    • Ryan Tate says

      It’s hard to sleep when you’re fired up isn’t it?! Hope you got some good Z’s though.

  3. says

    Wow…that is some amazing passion man!

    God has recently put the men of old faith in the bible in my heart…the men from Hebrews 11…The hero’s of our faith…
    Especially to our young generation who have nothing more than lady gaga and kanye…..

    I want to show them most of these great heroes were young kids…Gideon, David, and so many others…

    We need to teach them the History of God’s people….

    • Ryan Tate says

      Arny, that’s awesome! The younger generation needs to know the History of God…we have to tell them The Story and the stories within that Story. Thanks Arny.

  4. says

    I’ve always loved the story of Shackleton. I like how you said it “Shackleton merely assembled that passion for a common mission” and you are right Jesus calls each of us into this type of adventure through Him. Love how each of these bloggers are doing it!

  5. says

    Ryan, well said. Loved reading about Shackleton’s story and how you related it to SCL, One Word and Mo’s “movements”.

    With the 10 grade guys I help lead at church, that is something I want to harness and encourage them to charge forward with – take all of their passions, assemble them, and give them the freedom to explore.

  6. says

    Dude, Ryan, great post! Just thinking about what might happen if we all lived out the things God has given us passion for gets me all fired up! I think I’m going to put an ad or two in the newspaper now… :)

    Also, this post reminded me of a quote that I once heard John Maxwell say: “Successful people are those that discover what they’re good at. Successful leaders are those that discover what others are good at.” I don’t know about everyone else, but I’d much rather be the latter of the two!


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