Consider this statement:
It doesn’t have to be perfect for God to bless it.
As I read Scripture, I can’t find any instance where conditions were perfect before God blessed it. Abraham didn’t have all the answers when asked to sacrifice his son Isaac … he proceeded anyway. Moses had a speech problem and was insecure about his leadership abilities … he proceeded anyway. Nehemiah certainly didn’t know how the building project would turn out, but he proceeded anyway. Are you noticing a pattern here?
Why the Big Push for Excellence?
Every generation is quick to point out the hypocrisy of the one that preceded it. The generation born just after WWII began rejecting the values of their parents during the ’60s. Now it’s their kids’ turn. Today’s young adults see a generation of baby-boomer Christians that has striven for “excellence” in every part of church life. Boomers proclaimed in the 1980s that image is everything, and their churches have reflected that cultural trend.
The nurseries have got to be sparkling clean, the church buildings are marvelously functional as opposed to artistic, the music is as close to FM radio quality as possible (even if they must hire a band), the Sunday services are seamless with perfect transitions (just like television), the preaching is entertaining and informative (but not so deep as to offend visitors), and the plants on stage are beautiful (but artificial).
As a result, according to Dieter Zander, the next generation has concluded that “everything is image,” and therefore nothing can be trusted. Church is too slick, too good, too polished to be real. And the 20-something hunger for raw authenticity just doesn’t fit in (Source: Out of Ur Blog).
Let me repeat: It doesn’t have to be perfect for God to bless it.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do your best. But striving for perfection/excellence when “good enough is good enough” is a waste of time. Consider the way new technologies come to market. Major software and electronics companies cut down on time and costs by putting products on the market before they’ve been completely tested. Remember the original iPhone & all the bugs it had? These companies know that consumers will offer feedback that teaches them more in a month than they’d discover through years of in-house training.
Google is one of the most admired and innovative companies in the world and they release MOSTLY EVERYTHING in beta. In other words, they knowingly release products that are incomplete and gather feedback from their customers on how to improve them. Churches, companies, ministries and people should learn from Google and others. You should know when your work is “good enough.” At Mars Hill, we don’t have the best facilities, slick marketing, it’s over-crowded and located in the inner-city. Conditions are FAR from perfect, but God’s blessing and adding to our numbers daily.
Alexander Hamilton said, “I never expect to see a perfect work from an imperfect man.” Don’t let unhealthy perfectionism keep you from pursuing God’s best.
Question: What do you think? Is excellence overrated?