My church, like many, has excellence included in their core values: “Excellence in all we do.” I’ve seen some of the things we do. I have, at times, been dissatisfied with work from my areas of responsibility. How can we claim to pursue excellence and sometimes deliver less than stellar quality?
Excellence is something I work hard to achieve. It is extremely important to me to do everything I do for God as good as I can do it. Excellence is not perfection. Sometimes, it’s pretty far from perfect. The key to understanding the difference between God-honoring excellent workmanship and perfection is how we define excellence:
Excellence = b(t+r)
Excellence is doing the best you can with the time and resources available.
I used to beat myself up over mistakes and flaws in my work. I used to get so frustrated at videos that were not quite right. If only I had better lights. Or any lights. A better camera would have helped. Another week to fix it in post could have made it so much better. If I could just learn to do it better.
OK, I still beat myself up over mistakes. I still want to do better. But I understand that when I do the best I can with the time and resources available, I do not dishonor God with that work.
Last week I showed 3 different versions of the same video because I kept tweaking them during each service. Why? I was out of time before the first one showed. There were a few changes I felt I needed to make, but ran out of time in the week to finish. The first video was fine, but could have been better. So, I tweaked, and then retweaked, with the final video being better than the first two… slightly.
I have served where we did not have a lot of resources; where resourcefulness ruled the day. Not everything we tried worked. we did our best, but we were limited. We did the best we could in the time we had with what was available. The quality of our work was not as good as it could have been under different circumstances, but it was the best we could do.
In both situations, God was honored by our workmanship. We did the best we could in the time we had with what we had. those efforts were not perfect, but they were excellent.