Do You Demand Excellence?

Courtesy of JonoMueller/Creative Commons License

Is there something in your ministry that drives you crazy?  Maybe it’s the person showing up late for a meeting or when there is a piece of trash on the floor of your youth space you cringe.  When you express these concerns to others they tell you to relax, but you disagree because you demand excellence.  And that’s good.  Striving for excellence means having the desire to take your ministry to the next level.

It’s easy for youth ministers to come off laid back because of how they look and who they serve; however, that should not be an excuse for a lack of excellence.  When you have excellence in ministry it means you have standards, expectations and organizations.  The only caution with demanding excellence is having it turn into a journey for perfection.  Perfection doesn’t allow flaws, excellence means wanting the most out of what you can give.  In youth ministry it’s important to have this desire especially when it comes to:

  • Youth Space: Whether it’s in the basement of the church or in a decked out youth room, your space needs to be an irresistible environment.  That means it needs to be clean, cared and prepared for, so that students are not walking into chaos.  They have enough craziness going on in their lives, let your space be that sanctuary.
  • Meetings: Whether it’s a 2 minute check-in or a 2 hour strategic meeting it’s important that everyone shows up on time, an agenda is set and people are prepared.  If you are leading the meeting all of that falls on you, so make sure you plan ahead of time.
  • Communication: It needs to be clear and consistent, the way that’s going to happen is by practicing, reviewing and receiving feedback.  You should never take for granted that your message is heard if only said once, repeat, repeat and repeat.
  • Identity: Excellence in your identity does not mean perfection, it means authenticity.  That means you need to embrace humility and transparency in how you communicate and interact with others.  If you stress too much about appearance and reputation you will only find yourself disappointed. Make sure you surround yourself with accountability so that people can help you stay true.

There are many areas in which we should strive for excellence; however, it doesn’t come naturally for all of us.  To obtain excellence as a value you need to set goals and cast vision with your team.  Excellence does not always mean perfection, it means having expectations and dreams of what can be and will be.  While you don’t want to be too hard, don’t be afraid to think big.

How do you strive for excellence?

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  • Aaron Helman says:

    Thanks for this post. Three things that bug me simply because they are evidence that someone wasn’t striving for excellence:

    1. Light bulbs aren’t replaced.
    2. PowerPoint slides are lazily constructed.
    3. Basketballs and volleyballs aren’t fully inflated.

    Some people say it’s anal-retentive. I say excellent.

    • Ha ha, great list, the lightbulb thing gets me too. I would add to my list empty pizza boxes left out.
      One thing that is important for all of us to note is that sometimes we can be an enemy to our own standards of excellence. While I get frustrated with others, I know that I get more annoyed with myself when I drop the ball.

      Thanks for the feedback.