How would you define ministry excellence? This was the question I posed to my team last week. What came back were diverse definitions illustrating varying degrees of how this can be defined. This phrase though, “Excellence in Ministry” is relative. Anyone’s idea of what excellence is can suffice to that person. For instance, is excellence in ministry just doing out best? Some would say yes. Is excellence in ministry having everything professionally put together minimizing all glitches and issues? Some would say yes. To be clear, I am being rather narrow in my focus, looking at how churches are led as well as what takes place within the community of faith. But it does involve what happens outside the four walls as well in each of our own ministries where God has placed us.
I always come back to the Apostle Paul when trying to nail down a good definition of being excellent for the Lord. I have always been fearful of perfectionism as well as sloppiness in what I do for the Lord. But Paul has helped me find that healthy middle ground. He wrote in Colossians 3:17,
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
I know, I know. This too could be vague. Though it still might be; this nonetheless provides the impetus and definition of excellence in ministry. We seek to be excellent in what we do because its for Christ and the magnification of His Kingdom. The standard and definition for our excellence is the model of Jesus. While everyone must wrestle with how they define it; what matters most is that we are seeking after it. Those we lead and those on the outside are looking for communities of faith that line up with the excellence and ideals of Jesus in Scripture. So whether its in preaching, organizing, cleaning, or any other task in the Church–how are you being excellent? What areas need refined in how you are serving the Lord?
Here are the definitions from our Compassion Church team. Take your time in reading them. Notice the differences among them.
- Having a clear vision that points others to Christ; showing compassion by identifying and meeting needs by stewarding resources well.
- Using the gifts God has given us to do our best acknowledging he has given us all perfect gifts.
- To take initiative in being authentic to our vision and bringing relationship and structure together.
- Doing ministry with integrity to empower and bring compassion and unity to the church community.
- Using our gifts in unity to serve others in obedience to Christ in creating a Tov (goodness) culture.
- Bringing people closer to Jesus in a well organized and truth way to achieve a clear vision centered on His will.
How would you define it?