3 Ways Church Leaders Can Pursue Excellence in 2020
by Nathan Artt, on January 2020
In his captivating book, Know What You're FOR: A Growth Strategy for Work, An Even Better Strategy for Life, author and Gwinnett Church pastor Jeff Henderson encourages organizations to seek growth by understanding two essential truths about themselves:
- What are we known for?
- What do we want to be known for?
As we move into a new decade, it is more important than ever to determine what we as organizations, non-profits, and churches want to be known for. One trait I want our team at Ministry Solutions to seek is excellence. Why? The desire for excellence is the standard God requires of us for Him to increase our influence.
Here are three things to accept in order to move forward in excellence in 2020:
Failure is our best teacher.
I honestly feel that the reason I’ve learned so much is that I am too stubborn to accept defeat. Every time I mess up, or something goes wrong, I want to know why, but... I don’t let it take away from the ultimate objective of winning. So yes, I am competitive, but I also know that I have learned 1,000 times more in the seasons where life doesn’t go my way than in the seasons where I’m winning.
In fact, I’ve learned that when I am in a winning season, it’s often because of what I learned in previous seasons of defeat. Don’t stop when you fail. Lean in and learn. God won’t give you a vision for your life He doesn’t plan to resource. He lets us fail because it makes us better.
Excellence is a pursuit, not a destination.
You don’t have to be excellent at something to achieve excellence. That’s where other people come in, namely the team you surround yourself with, and how you engage them on the journey. Excellence is almost never achieved alone.
The reason people stop learning is that they begin to accept defeat as a destination point, not as a redirection point. It defines them, so they give up. Ephesians 3:20-21 teaches us that the God of the universe is glorified through His work in us. It’s not His work for us that brings Him glory, and certainly not our work for Him. That means that God is not glorified by our circumstances (wins or losses), but in us as we grow through our circumstances. We are the canvas on which He is painting this beautiful story of redemption.
In short, it’s less about what we achieve, and even less about what happens to us; God is glorified in who we become in the events and circumstances of our lives. Defeat does not define us. Every opportunity to get better is a step closer to who He ultimately created us to be.
Excellence starts with identity.
We often expect less of ourselves because of our perspective of ourselves. We see failures, past and present. In his very famous article ”The Power to See Ourselves”, Paul J. Brouwer argues that every single decision we make in life is based on how we see ourselves. As Christians, we take it a step further because we know it’s also based on how we see God. But...if God is who He says He is, then we are also who He says we are; His children. The way we see God forms how we see ourselves, and you can’t separate the two.
If we could see ourselves through the eyes of our perfect, wonderful, amazing Heavenly Father for just a minute, it would change every decision we make for the rest of our lives. We see our failures, He sees His creation, His children who were designed to magnify His glory to the end of the earth. His children have permanent, instant, and direct access to the most powerful Being in the universe…and their Daddy and loves them beyond comprehension. We pursue excellence because we were designed for it. We’re designed by excellence, in excellence, for excellence. It’s who we are much more than our past is.
What does your church or organization want to be known for this year? What about this decade? Feel free to comment below: