The word of the week seems to be “excellence” as we prepare in Atlanta for Catalyst. Our senior leadership and pastoral staff have been here in Atlanta since Sunday doing some vision casting, team building, etc as we prep for Catalyst – and had a stellar day with the leadership of 12Stone Church in Atlanta yesterday. One of the surprise moments was spent with Miles Welch, one of the Pastors at 12Stone’s Central Campus. You see, we are building a 7.4 million dollar expansion and wanted to compare notes a bit with 12Stone on how they have accomplished a few things along the way. We THOUGHT that was our purpose there. What we didn’t know was the amount of knowledge we were going to get in a 30 minute conversation over Starbucks coffee with Miles when he simply opened up to us about the dangers of us growing rapidly…and being excellent. Here are just a few of the standout quotes from the conversation and my thoughts:
“Stay hungry next year when everyone is telling you how awesome you are this year”.
It’s easy for a church that sees huge growth and development to see the mountain top as the top of a natural mountain. The truth is…you helped make that platform of height…and no one says that the plateau has to end there. Choose to look down and spend your time surveying all you’ve come from…or continue to take the people you lead to greater heights daily. Never stop trying to find the “what’s next”. The world around us will forever find ways to captivate and engage. Our God has always found new ways to captivate and engage. Stay hungry.
“There’s always some reason not to be awesome.”
We will always find a reason that it is okay
to be mediocre. “We are growing.” “Its a learning curve”. “He’s new”. “We aren’t a mega church like ______”. Look – let’s be real for a moment. We aren’t striving for perfection….we are striving for excellence. If we constantly allow for an environment that doesn’t push towards “let’s be awesome”, then we allow the culture to be “let’s be complacent with lukewarm offerings”.
“You’re either hard on each other or you are hard on your church and mission.”
Wow. This one should leave a mark on each of us. We tend to treat each other with too much brotherly love from time to time. After all…we are the church, right? We aren’t talking about tough love here…but a spirit of holding each other accountable for what we should be doing in excellence. If we see areas that we aren’t being excellent in – we find excuses for why we aren’t being excellent instead of saying “hey – why aren’t we ______” As a result, our congregations suffer…and our missions suffer. It is a powerful statement. Post it on your whiteboards at your next staff meeting and discuss it. I can guarantee you there isn’t a ministry staff across the country that doesn’t need to hear it.
“Choose to be excellent rather than choose to be good enough”
To the point. The new greenroom backstage at our new worship center will be the last place our team leaves before they head out to the stage each Sunday. I can assure you – I already have plans to have this stenciled above the doors. It is that much of clear statement to follow for all team in a ministry.
What would you add? Share your thoughts in the comments below.