Excellence in Ministry

June 1, 2011 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

Me and el staff team are reading a book about church, leadership, focus on lost people, etc.  That’s right. We read books.  This will be the 4th book we’ve read together as a staff in the last 8 months.  We read sections and discuss them each week at staff meeting.

Today we ended up talking about “excellence.”  That is a leadership buzzword at least in church circles.  Simply put, you want what you do at your church to be done very well.  You want the music at your church, whatever the style, to be done well–excellent.  It is the same with your teaching, you want it to be excellent.  The same goes for small groups/Sunday school or children’s and youth ministries.  If you are going to do it, do it with excellence.

This isn’t about style. This is about whatever your style, you do it excellently.

Here is the question(s): Does that strike you as secular or unspiritual?  Does that kind of talk belong in talking about church or ministry?  Do such things matter?

If you object, what I want you to suggest is the alternative.  Instead of being excellent, ministries should  _________.  There are lots of things you could put in that blank, for example, “love Jesus,” “be focused on people,” or “provide snacks.”  However, all of those, especially snacks, can go hand in hand with excellence.

Do you think it is important, but overemphasized? Underemphasized?  What do you expect or anticipate from the church that you attend?

Someone recently said that commenting on blogs is “over.”  If it is, then this will have been a waste of time, but then I’ll know.  I really do want to know what you think.  So, let’s discuss.

Diversity, Choirs, Guitars and Excellence

You may be surprised to hear that I wasn’t necessarily intending on opening multiple cans of worms in posting about worship.  I didn’t necessarily feel that what I said was controversial, but I certainly do not mind it.  Discussion is healthy.  Disagreement is healthy.  The pursuit of God often is found in such ways.  To catch up, read the original post here

We are going to do something a little different.  Rather than respond to my thoughts, I want to hear you respond to something someone else said.  In one of the comments, a friend of mine from St. Louis brings up one of the trends in worship music:

The musical shift in the last 10 years has been frightening to watch. Churches now focus on having the cool, young, hip guitar player as the “music minister”, and if you play any instrument that would fall outside of a standard rock band, you are no longer welcome. Only the beautiful people need apply now – young, physically attractive, professional-level talent is all that is desired. The average person no longer has a place other than in the crowd. Most choirs are gone, and your average singers can’t pass audition in most churches. Read the music forums sometime for full-time worship leaders and see the types of things they discuss – it will give you chills. A lot of it is focused on how to keep everyone but hand-selected professionals off the stage, and how to keep the few people they do allow on the stage under absolute control. There is a reason why they want it that way……music in most churches has become all about performance.

What do you think?  Does a church have an obligation to use anyone who wants to be used in the music ministry?  Should a church provide a diverse range of styles so that a classical singer can be used as well as electric guitar player?  Has the striving for excellence in the worship music made the music more about performance than worship?  What do you think?