October 21, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: Excellence

Brother-Aaron-236x300In his book, “WIN The Key Principles to Take Your Business from Ordinary to Extraordinary,” Dr. Frank I Luntz makes a very simple yet profound statement.

He says, “Good enough … isn’t!” (Stop and reread those last three words and meditate on them)

And whether it is reflected in our churches, businesses, governments, schools, families, or our personal lives, I’m afraid that our acceptance of “good enough” is at the core of what is wrong with America today.

Somewhere along the way we lost our focus and drive for excellence in all we do. The words of a childhood saying are echoing in my mind as I write this column: “No matter the job, large or small, do it well, or not at all!”

As I mentor pastors and church leaders, I remind them that there are five foundational questions we must ask and honestly answer if we want our members, churches, and ministries to reach their God-given purpose and potential.

Not only are these questions good for the church world; they are also good for the corporate world and us as individuals.

They are: 1) What are we supposed to be doing?  2) What are we doing?  3) How well are we doing whatever it is that we are doing?  4) Why aren’t we doing what we are supposed to be doing?  5) What will it take for us to start doing what we are supposed to be doing?

You may think these questions easy to answer. However, I believe you will find quite the opposite to be true.

I want to encourage you to do something a little different today. If you are reading this column in a newspaper, I want you to tear it out and save it.  If you are reading it in electronic format, I want you save it to your hard drive. Then, in a quiet uninterrupted moment, I want you to go back and reread these questions.

I want you to honestly answer them regarding your walk with Jesus, your family life, your church life, and even your secular career.

Then once you have honestly answered them and know the adjustments you need to make, I want you to give this column to other family members, church members, church leadership, coworkers, and the leaders at your secular workplace and ask them to do the same.  I believe you will find this exercise most enlightening!

I want to follow up the five foundational questions you just read with a question John Maxwell asks in his book, “The Five Levels of Leadership.” He says, “Frequently I’ll ask a group, ‘What’s the one thing you would change to improve the effectiveness of your organization?’

Usually people name things that can be found on the list of Ps: products, promotions, policies, processes, procedures, pricing, and people. Seldom does anyone say the most important and impacting of all answers: ‘Me!  I would change me to improve our organization.’ Yet that seldom-heard response is the key to success. … If you want to make an impact, start with yourself.”

Whether in our personal life, family life, church life, or secular career, excellence should be our goal. Remember, no matter the job, large or small, do it well, or not at all!  Excellence is the  standard … and it starts with you and me!

Brother Aaron

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