May 11, 2008 Tony Morgan

Should I pursue unexcellent?

Hey, Bob, if you’re still out there, I’d love to pursue a conversation with you on the topic of “excellence.” I know it’s en vogue these days to downplay the value of excellence in ministry. I’m not buying it, though, and I’m hoping you might help me understand the thinking behind it. These questions popped to mind in reaction to your recent comment.

  • First of all, what’s a “transformational mindset?” Please have patience. I know I’m not the brightest crayon in the box.
  • Are you saying we should embrace less-than-excellent Bible teaching? Is it OK for us to just give 75% effort in serving others?
  • If the business world has abandoned excellence, why did Starbucks recently close all their stores to train all their baristas to make a better espresso?
  • Do you think God wants us to embrace “average” or “mediocre” instead of excellent? If not, help me better understand your position.

Just in case you’re wondering, I do think there are times when holding too tightly to excellence can be a detriment to churches. For example:

  • It’s a problem when we pursue excellence at the expense of action. Sometimes we need to be more willing to launch the beta version even though it has flaws.
  • It’s a problem if we let our expectations for excellence turn into an expectation for perfection.
  • It’s a problem when we let excellence become an excuse for not delegating or empowering others.
  • It’s a problem when we let excellence get in the way of doing what God has called us to do.

That said, are you willing to share your thoughts on this topic and hopefully teach me something new in the process?

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Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.
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