Sunday, January 20, 2008

Excellence (Part 2 of 4)

(Be sure to read Part One first.)

Daniel Schantz’s article “Recovering from Excellence” in the Christian Standard provided great insight for my personal understanding of Biblical excellence. Read his whole article HERE. In last Sunday’s teaching I used Schantz’s six sublet dangers of excellence. Here are his alternatives to excellence.

1. Efficiency – “Instead of aiming for excellence, we should aim to be efficient. You can be excellent, and still not be efficien....People with average ability can be efficient, even if they are not capable of excellence. I remind my students (he’s a professor at Central Christian College of the Bible) that, ‘You don’t have to get straight A's to get a diploma or a good job.’ Indeed, some of my most brilliant students have made a mess of their lives, and some of the average students are productive for a lifetime."

2. Patience - "It’s OK to have high goals, as long as I don’t expect to reach them by Easter. Just because the church down the road doubled in attendance in six months does not mean we can do the same. Every situation is different and requires a different schedule of progress. I’m always suspicious of rapid growth. The only thing that grows fast in my garden is weeds. Growing too fast does not allow time for people to adjust to the growth, and the result often is conflict and confusion."

3. Inclusion - "Instead of highlighting superstars, we need to find ways to include people of average gifts and intelligence. No, that doesn’t mean we have to give Charlie Croak the lead solo in the Christmas musical. Nor does it mean we have to tolerate lazy, sloppy preaching. Yet, some of the most beautiful singing I ever heard came from average singers whose heart overshadowed their technique. And it’s possible for an ordinary preacher to have a growing church because he has the sense to preach the Truth instead of Web jokes."

I know these alternatives used “the ministry” to flesh out the point but these alternatives are great for life as well.

Leave a comment. How can efficiencey, patience, and inclusion replace “excellence” in your home, work, or social life? Leave a comment and log on tomorrow for more insights on Biblical excellence.

1 comment:

bjohnsonbailey said...

I like these ideas, Frenchie, and see this as a personal challenge and paradigm-shift. As one who has known you since your start in the ministry (ten years now!), I would have to say that your consistency and efficiency have served you better in your ministry efforts than a 4.0 ever could have- this coming from a recovering excellante, grammar-obssessed/ OCD 4.0 striver.