One thing I am passionate about is excellence. Many times a person who has a high value for excellence gets called “controlling” or “perfectionist”. A person who has a heart for excellence has a desire to see things done well, and to see things done to the very best they can be done.
Excellence: possessing outstanding quality or superiority; remarkably good
I was talking with some friends this week about small beginnings and the importance of excellence no matter the size of the group you are leading. Colossians 3:23 says to do all things “as unto the Lord”—if we are doing things as unto the Lord we should be doing them with a spirit of excellence! We should be doing these things with the very best we have to offer, whether you are a worship leader, a musician, the person who cleans the church, the nursery worker, the pastor, or the person who collects the offering…do everything as an act of Worship unto God!
Many times I find myself asking God for more—to widen my sphere of influence, to open doors for me to lead worship more, to travel more, etc…But, the question I always come back to is “am I doing what God has already given me with excellence”? Am I doing the very best that I can with what I already have? Small beginnings can be so frustrating or hard when you have a vision for the future or see the bigger picture of what you know God has called you to.
Luke 16:10- “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
What are you doing with what you have? Are you being a good steward of your gifts and talents? Are you pursuing excellence? If God has given you a group of 5 are you leading that group with the same passion and excellence as you would a group of 100? Everything we do is an act of worship…leadership is an act of worship! If you want to lead hundreds—be faithful with the 20 God has already given you. Am I leading worship for 10 the same as I would for a stadium full of people? God isn’t about numbers—He can show up with the same power for a crowd of thousands as He can in a living room full of 20 hungry souls. Run your meetings the same as you would if there were 500 people there. Have Sunday worship practices as though you were getting ready to lead worship for a conference of 1,000. Less people does not mean less effort. If our levels of commitment and excellence are measured by the amount of people that show up then our heart might be motivated by the wrong thing.
When you do things with excellence it shows God that you are trustworthy. It shows God that He can trust you with more because you are doing what He has already given you to the best that you have within you! If God sees that you can be faithful and trustworthy with the small He WILL give you more to be faithful with. When we do things halfway, or only give something a minimal effort it doesn’t really show that we have a value for what we are doing.
Joseph is a great example of being faithful during the process. Joseph was sold into slavery as a teenager. He was slave in Egypt but He did his work well and the Bible says everything his hand touched, flourished…Joseph also gained favor with Potiphar (the Kings right hand man), and eventually became the King (Pharaoh) of Egypt! But, the process pretty much sucked. Joseph was delivered into slavery by his FAMILY (imagine the therapy most people would need after that), had to do hard labor for years with no friends or family, and eventually ended up in jail after being accused of something he did not do. Yeah, that “process” doesn’t sound like much fun. But, can you imagine the character God shaped in Joseph during those 12 years of jail time? 12 years he spent in jail and during that time He grew in His faith and trust in God! God even used Him while in jail to interpret dreams and because of that eventually He was promoted to being in charge of the entire land of Egypt…because God knew He could trust Joseph and He knew Joseph was after His heart. The beautiful part of the story, to me, is that God brought restoration between Joseph and his brothers that sold him. Joseph forgave the people who betrayed him the most.
God sees everything. He enjoys the process because it is in the process that our character is developed! Our trust, our willingness to obey, and our integrity are all being developed on the road to walking out what God has called us to do. One thing I would encourage you to do is to embrace the process-ask God what He is trying to teach you or develop in you in this season.
So often we get frustrated with the process, myself included. There are so many times I look back on the prophetic words I have received over the years and am like “Ok, God…anytime now”…but, now is not His time. Why? Because the process is what shapes us to be able to walk in what God has called us to do. Enjoy the process…learn, be teachable, and allow Jesus to do what He needs to do. Do what He has called you to NOW with excellence, do it all for the glory of God! Be faithful during the process. About 7 years ago God started a “thing” with me. I was in the bathroom at work washing my hands and I was in a hurry to get back to my desk so after drying my hands I chucked my paper towel at the trash can and missed. In my hurry I decided to not pick it up and walked out of the bathroom. About 5 seconds later I heard God say, “Be a good steward”. That was all, just 3 words. I was kind of shocked because at that time in my life I didn’t hear God very often. So, I went back and threw that paper towel in the trash can. Since that day God uses those 3 words on me—all the time. I could be at work and dump my coffee into the sink and there be some that doesn’t quite make it down the drain and I decide not to worry about it and hear those 3 small words…so I rinse it out. Or, I will be putting something together on a spreadsheet and will not take my time with it and I hear those 3 small words…so, I go back through and make sure that spreadsheet is done to the very best I can.
The last 7 years God has been training me for something…I am not sure what yet but I know that these last 7 years of constantly hearing those 3 words means God is teaching me to be obedient in seemingly unimportant things so He can trust that I will be obedient to His voice whether I see the point in it or not… So, I have learned to embrace it!
Zechariah 4:10 – Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”
God loves small beginnings! He loves to watch the process! David was a shepherd who would worship God with his harp in the fields…leading worship to a bunch of sheep, but He did it unto the Lord. How is that for small beginnings?! David was faithful to worship and honor God in his task of being a shepherd. David developed a heart of worship during these years of being out in the fields hanging around with a bunch of sheep! David started out as a shepherd boy, leading worship to sheep, and ended up becoming a King, writing the most famous book of worship songs to God, and became known as a man after God’s own heart! David was faithful in what seemed like many boring and dull years of shepherding. But, God was training him for great things!
Be faithful, be faithful, be faithful!
Whatever God has called you to in this season of life…do it well! Do it with excellence!