“Excellence” is one of the many buzz-words at most church plants and self-proclaimed “modern” churches I’ve been exposed to. But there’s one major issue.
What exactly is excellence?
At OneLife, we’ve wrestled with this from the beginning. And one thing that surfaced very early was something I learned from my buddy Bruce Pearl in nearly every interview I heard him do in his first year at UT: It’s all about the process!
If our product (whatever that may be) is excellent but the process to get there is a big ole mess, count me out. It’s fake excellence. What we want is a culture of excellence, not just products of excellence. A culture of excellence will affect everything we do: the staff throughout the week, volunteer expectations, OneLife Kidz, the worship service, and on and on it goes.
This morning I shared with our staff what it is going to take for OneLife to have excellence as a culture and not just a buzz-word. It’s going to take a “that can’t happen!” culture.
In other words, gone are the days of accepting mediocrity in anything we do. When something begins to slip, we must approach it saying “That can’t happen!” When something or someone falls through the cracks, “That can’t happen!” When we begin to accept low-risks instead of trusting our BIG God, “That can’t happen!” When my relationship with God isn’t where it should be, “That can’t happen!” When someone doesn’t view their volunteer responsibilities as if eternity weighs in the balance, “That can’t happen!” And when those pesky details don’t get the attention they deserve, “THAT can’t happen!”
What I’ve learned is that no matter how great things are now and no matter how good we get at making things look good on the surface, if we let this culture erode over time then we will lose our excellence and therefore our effectiveness. No matter how much we say we want excellence, if we accept mediocrity at ANY level it will eat us alive. And that CAN’T happen!
OneLifers, our God deserves our best. We as a staff are committed to helping you and our church give him nothing short of that. And when we see the early signs of it slipping away, we’re gonna commit to this battle cry:
That can’t happen!