Today, I am going to begin with the first principle of having excellent leadership. The principle is to move from the ordinary to the extraordinary. We have been satisfied with the ordinary for too long.
The concept of “Toward Excellence” has been the theme of business and industry for several years. It has enabled the business community to streamline its organizations. It has been my privilege to consult businesses of all types. This concept provides maximum efficiency and production. The desired outcome is a quality product for the consumer and less expense for the manufacturer. This same concept should be applied to the church. Paul wrote, “and this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent” (Philippians 1:9-10).
Traveling across the United States, and even internationally, conducting church growth consultations; leading church growth conferences, rallies, and a statewide meeting has provided me with the opportunities to dialogue with pastors and church leaders. I am constantly confronted with basically the same problems and questions that plagued most churches, questions ranging from organizational problems to motivating workers. This seems to be the state of a typical, ordinary Church. Good news! Christ has not called the church or the leadership to be typical or ordinary. He has called the church to be composed of extraordinary people in an ordinary world.
In Acts, Luke wrote about those marks which distinguish the early church from other religious groups. The churches basic purpose was to carry out the mandate given by Jesus Christ during the final days of his ministry on earth (Acts 1:8). This mandate, as recorded by Matthew, became and still is the objective of the church. “Go therefore and make disciples all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the father the son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and low, I am with you always, even today end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). These verses are the basis of The Marks of Excellence.
If the church and its leaders possess the marks of excellence, the workers and the people will begin to practice those unique characteristics, that will make them” a people for His own possession, zealous of good deeds (Titus 2:14).
Two Thousand years ago, Luke went to great pains to reveal the characteristics which described the early church and made them an extraordinary people of God. We will begin looking at those characteristics in our next blog.