Godly Excellence: Five Things it’s NOT!

Featuring All Praise Ministries Posted on June 30, 2010

As a worship consultant, I’ve had the unique opportunity to see firsthand both the good and the bad sides worship in the local church.  I’ve seen worship teams that are at the top of their game and those that couldn’t get any worse. Churches that support their worship ministries, and churches who shun them. When you think of worship band excellence, it’s easy to point towards the larger, more talked about churches and their bands. The worship teams at churches like New Spring in Anderson, SC; Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC; Andy Stanley’s Northpoint in Atlanta; and of course, Israel Houghton’s team at Lakewood in Houston, TX.  There are also some worship teams who are just as good or better which you’ve probably never heard of before. Like Brookwood Church in Simpsonville, SC or Puyallup Foursquare Church in Puyallup, WA. All of these churches have varying styles of music and technique, but the one thing they all have in common is a clear understanding and practice of Godly excellence.

So, what is this seemingly elusive concept of Godly excellence? Well, I could write a book on what it is… so, I decided to waste much less of your time and mine, and tell you what Godly Excellence is NOT.

It is not....

…something to be achieved.  Excellence should be a part of your organization’s DNA – a building block on which your systems and core values are built. If you don’t have it, you must reorganize and start over and put Excellence on the list of your non-negotiables.

…a great sounding band with a leader who has a solo record deal on the side. A big name or a famous leader doesn’t mean you’ve arrived.  Chris Tomlin and Israel Houghton had a grasp on the Godly excellence concept long before anyone knew who they were. I recently encountered a church that hired their worship leader based on his industry credentials. That leader was soon dismissed due to some moral failures. But then, the church turned around and “advertised” that their next service would be lead by someone from a “famous” church nearby. If God isn’t the main star being projected and advertised from your stage, then you’re operating in the flesh.

...possible apart from God. He is the creator of everything excellent and he requires that we honor him with our excellence.  He is also the source of our excellence. Before each service, get dialed in to God and  don’t accept anything less than your best from yourself or your team. We are to desire to become more like Christ. Only then will we see true excellence.
…better than average. Excellence goes far and above the average. Ephesians 4:11-12 tells us that he equips the saints for the “building up of the body of Christ.” The body will be a reflection of what you poor into it.  Do you want your body to be just above average?  Stop settling for better-than-average and start reaching for the highest prize.
…perfection. While 1 Corinthians 12:31 says we must “desire the higher gifts...” it isn’t requiring that we be perfect in our gifting. Perfection won’t be achieved until we’re in Heaven. While here on Earth, simply seek God in all you do, and like King Hezekiah, you will prosper (2 Chr. 31:21.)

..:: Jimmy Smith ::..