5 Ways to Excel in Your Ministry and Leadership by Rick Warren
God is more concerned with your progress than your perfect performance. The very nature of discipleship is progressive. God’s purpose is that you become more and more like His Son, Jesus, and He will use your entire life to work that process out. As ministry leaders, we are not exceptions. We are examples. If we aren’t growing and challenging ourselves to move to the next level, personally and professionally, we can’t lead a congregation or a team to do so.
Excellence, in and of itself, isn’t a core value at our church. We’d rather launch things imperfectly than wait for perfect conditions, which never really arrive. Having said that, excelling or growing and improving is another matter. While we don’t have to have reached perfection to serve God, we must be willing to grow. Some Pastors and leaders excel and grow, while others don’t. What makes the difference? The Bible mentions at least five factors that cause us to excel…
1. People who excel work with enthusiasm.
Emerson once said “Nothing great has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm.” Regardless of whether the job is big or small, give it your best. Great performers give their best effort, no matter what is the size of the audience. The Bible says, “Whatever your task is, put your whole heart and soul into it, as work done for the Lord, and not merely for men.” (Colossians 3:23)
2. People who excel sharpen their skills.
They never stop developing…growing…learning…improving. Ecclesiastes 10:10 says, “If the ax is dull, and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.” It takes more than desire to excel, it takes skill! Remember – you’re never wasting time when you are sharpening your “ax”.
3. People who excel keep their word.
They are reliable. They can be counted on to do what they say they’ll do. So they excel because people of integrity are rare in our society. “Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful they are, but just try to find someone who really is!” Proverbs 20:6 (GN) Reliability trumps talent in the long run every time.
4. People who excel maintain a positive attitude.
Even under pressure…or change…or unrealistic demands, they don’t allow themselves to become negative. Complainers never excel at anything except complaining. “Do all things without grumbling or arguing…and you will shine out like a light in a dark world.” (Philippians 2:14-15) And remember “If the boss is angry with you, don’t quit! A quiet spirit will quiet his bad temper!” (Ecclesiastes 10:4 LB)
5. People who excel do more than is expected.
This is a secret that every successful leader has discovered. You’ll never excel by only doing what is required – the bare minimum. Jesus said, “If anybody forces you to go a mile with him, do more, go two miles with him.” (Matthew 5:41, Ph)
Oscar Hammerstein told that story of seeing the top of the head of the Statue of Liberty up close from a helicopter. What impressed him was the incredible detail the artist had sculpted on an area of the statue that the artist never expected anyone to see. The artist had no idea man would someday fly above his statue!
When you are tempted to cut corners and think “No one will ever know” remember God is looking down and sees everything you do. Give it your best this week!