Achieve Excellence Without Killing Yourself

Courtesy of Dreamstime

When I was in middle school I had to make a mask representing an ancient culture.  I went simple and chose the Japanese Samurai.  I decided to take it easy and construct the entire thing out of papier mache.  I decided to be independent and refuse my mother’s assistance.  The result, not bad…not really.  It was a pain, a lot of work, it involved arguments with my mom and moments when I was screaming, “What was I thinking?”  Actually, I was quite aware what was going through my mind.  I wanted my project to be hands down the best thing in the world.
There is this myth that we buy into, that in order to achieve excellence we need to totally exert all of our emotion, energy, resources and entire being.  We believe in order to achieve excellence we need to be perfect; however, that’s not exactly true.
If you value excellence, and want to lead your ministry at a high level, then all you need to do is:

  • Stay Simple – We tell ourselves if it looks complex it will make us look smart, clever, organized or even put together.  The reality is that complex can make us appear unfocused and out of touch.  To bring your ministry to the next level you have to have the foundation of your ministry simple and strong.  If you achieve that in your structures and systems you’ll be able to build on that later.
  • Dream Big – Never be afraid to dream big even if it means big risk which can lead to big failure.  If you have an idea that seems larger than life, explore it, discuss it and share it with others so that you can see whether or not it’s truly achievable.  If you want big change in the lives of others, if you want big impact in the surrounding community, you need to allow yourself to dream big outside the box.
  • Be Flexible – It’s important to have a mission that leads to your vision.  It’s important to have systems and structures that work and walk people along the path you have laid out for them.  However, it’s more important to know that things don’t always go according to plan.  What you need to allow is failure to occur, life to change and control to be in someone else’s hands.  When we are flexible it means we are willing to grow and trust in God.

When we list the values of our ministry, excellence should be there.  To strive for excellence means to strive for something outstanding and great, even if it is flawed or imperfect.  We’re never going to be perfect in ministry; however, we need to make sure we are producing quality for our students.  It’s about wanting a great environment and striving to make it effective.  If you give them a community of excellence, they’ll invest back in you with the same level of commitment.

Do you believe that excellence needs perfection?