Colossians 3:23-24 says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” In the margin of my Bible, beside these verses, I’ve written this phrase, “Strive for Excellence.” Everything we do in our local church ought to be done “heartily, as to the Lord.” Why? Because we “serve the Lord Christ.” He not only deserves our very best, but He deserves to be served in a spirit of excellence.
How do we maintain a ministry of excellence as we serve the Lord through our local church? Let me share with you 10 principles we use to train the leaders of LBC as we strive for a mindset of excellence in our local church (Please keep in mind that no claims of absolute originality are made for some of these statements. Many of these I have gathered by leadership training through the years).
1. Who you are is more important than what you do. – More important than the position you hold or the job you do is the person you are before Christ. Character always trumps position.
2. Your private life makes you fit for your public service. – A ministry of excellence is fueled by people who are real with God when no one else is looking. Spend time in the Word. Walk with God. Meditate on the Scriptures.
3. Do all things decently and in order, and to the glory of God. – God doesn’t deserve our leftovers. His house, His work ought to be done decently and in order. And remember…it’s all for the glory of His name and not our own.
4. Never assume. – Excellence will dissipate when we do not take responsibility for our service. Communicate. Be diligent. Never assume a task will be performed or completed by someone else. Take ownership.
5. Forgive when offended; refuse to harbor bitterness toward other believers. – There cannot be a spirit of excellence where there is a spirit of bitterness. When conflict arises, deal with it biblically and move forward.
6. The enemy of great is good. – Complacency is an infection that deteriorates the local church. Why settle for good when God invites us to do great and mighty things in His name?
7. Inspect what you expect. – As you lead a ministry it is important that you follow up on your volunteers. If expectations of excellence are put forth, be sure it is held together with accountability.
8. See the need and take the lead. – Don’t wait for someone else to pick up the trash, straighten the chairs, or complete a task. If the need is there, be willing to take the lead and serve.
9. Don’t take liberties you are not given. – This may seem contradictory to #8, but the intent here is that we work within the scope of our responsibilities. There are some things only the Pastor and staff should make decisions on.
10. Focus on the race God has given you, and run it faithfully. – You don’t have time to give God your best when you constantly compare your race with someone else’s. God made you, you. So focus on what He has for YOU!