Complete this sentence: ‘Excellence is…’


14/06/2013 by Chris Green

One church has a full time musician on its staff. Another has to use digital recordings on a keyboard because no-one can play. One church produces full colour notice-sheets. Another uses a twenty year old duplicator. One church puts on a full scale Christmas pageant. Another can hardly scratch together a choir for the carol service.

What is excellence? I still like Bill Hybels’ definition: ‘Excellence is doing the best you can with what you’ve got’.


If you read those six sentences and thought only three of them represented excellence, read them again and think.

The church without a musician is still committed to sing as well as it can, and has made a good alternative choice.

The church with an old duplicator can still commit to having no typos, no mistakes, and a readable and attractive layout.

The church without a choir can still sing its heart out at Christmas.

Don’t envy the resources of other churches, or resent the limitations of what you have.

Do the best you can with what you’ve got.


One thought on “Complete this sentence: ‘Excellence is…’

  1. James Leach says:

    While we want to do the best we can for God with what we’ve got, I think having excellence as a stated value in the church can have a dark side. Less self-confident members of a congregation sometimes look at what goes on ‘at the front’ and count themselves out from getting involved because they don’t believe they can produce the ‘excellence’ that is so obviously required. In that way, excellence slides into elitism if we’re not careful.

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