There is a big push in the church world today to do things with excellence. If you were to read the core values of many of today’s most successful churches, you w0uld most likely read something about “creating a culture of excellence”. I for one, am ALL FOR excellence. If you’re going to be doing something in the name of Jesus and for people to hear ABOUT Jesus, you BETTER be attempting to do it with excellence. Doing things halfway or “good enough” is NOT God honoring. However, I think we/I need to understand something.
There is a BIG difference between excellence and significance. Something, even in our church, can be done VERY WELL, with excellence if you will, but have little to NO significance. No impact. Excellence should not be our goal, significance should. IMPACT should.
I’m not going to mention any church “projects” or “programs” outside this one conversation I had in my life and thought of today. I’m not trying to pin point any specific thing here, just point out a principle: I was invited one time to a round table of community church leaders to discuss some things in our community. At this meeting were pastors and leaders from various churches around town. One representative of a local ministry kept going on and on about their new stained glass window at their facility. They weren’t just talking about it, they had a real conundrum they were dealing with. Essentially this person said: “You should see our new window. It has ‘this’ and ‘this”. You can see it from ‘here’ and ‘here’. It is ‘this’ big and ‘this ‘high’. ‘So and so’ actually flew in from ‘this place’ to do it for us.” Then they concluded with this “Our window is SO BEAUTIFUL. How come no one is coming to see it?”
Wow! I have no idea what else they did at their organization, but I can tell you this. They did something with excellence in that window, but it had NO SIGNIFICANCE! Am I against stained glass windows? No. I think they are gorgeous. What I am against, is choosing to just focus on excellence, if there is no lasting significance in what we do. ANY church, at ANY time, ANYwhere, can have their own “stained glass window” to distract them.
Excellence is not our goal, significance is. Choose significant and impactful things to do…and do them with excellence.