Mediocrity and the Leftovers We Give God
by Lauren Nance
Devout believers in Christ often seize our faith with great passion and fervor. We preach, prophesy, shout and dress the part Sunday after Sunday; taking pride in calling ourselves ‘a child of the King.’
Even so, there’s a dirty little secret running rampant in our houses of worship that deserves to be put ‘on blast.’ We know it’s there and choose to accept it as the norm: the besetting sin of mediocrity. It often takes center pulpit in how we lead and follow in God’s House. The excellent God we reverence becomes the recipient of second-rate, average and commonplace leadership and service. We desire his divine blessings but regularly gift Him our leftovers. And after an extended period of time we know what happens to leftovers!
Many ministry leaders rank among America’s employed and serve their bosses well to report to work on time, treat their colleagues with respect and ensure their work areas are kept in pristine condition. Flash forward to Sunday morning to find leaders who are late without placing a phone call, speaking in an unflattering tongue and a Sanctuary, church kitchen or pastor’s office that have been left in disarray. Do you see something wrong with this picture?
One might cite the paycheck tied to the responsibilities of a job versus the ‘volunteerism’ of church work. Our ‘paycheck’ from God was rendered at Calvary’s cross in the sacrifice of His only son. We seek earnestly to repay that satisfied debt by bringing others under His divine protection. To demonstrate indifference to a heightened standard of how we lead God’s people is accepting the mediocrity of the world and rejecting the order God requires to operate Kingdom business.
With this insight, view a wider scope of how we manage God’s house and His people. My pastor, Overseer Anthony Price, asks often asks leaders to do this by taking a mental walkthrough of our entire operation. What do the church grounds look like? Do the parking lot attendants and ushers greet guests and members with a joyful spirit? Are your event flyers, business cards and other printed materials attractive? Or, are they littered with typos because no one took the time to proofread them? Do we treat our corporate bosses better than we treat our pastor andtheir spouse? Do we say ‘hello’ to folks? Or, are we so caught up in our busyness that we ‘keep-it-a-movin’ without a second thought?
King Solomon built God’s temple and many buildings of political importance in Jerusalem. The design and service standards Solomon commanded were superior. The décor was elaborate and rich. The King’s servants operated the logistical workings of the home in sheer excellence, so much so it took the Queen of Sheba’s breath away (1 Kings 10:5). Does that mean our churches need a mega budget to provide an expensive appearance? Absolutely not! Apostle Joel Rudolph shared it best – High Fellowship, Low Budget. Smile! Sweep! Compliment! Clean! Paint! Cosmetic adjustments to our church facilities and our attitude can work well to kill mediocrity.
Make a commitment to be the change you want to see in your house of worship. It’s our reasonable service unto God to do so. Give the Lord, your pastor and God’s people the five-star service Christ and His Holy Spirit deserves. Starting today, throw out the leftovers!
LAUREN NANCE is a licensed minister and leading resource on church administration and leadership development. This Business of the Gospel™is Nance’s ministry to educate spiritual leaders on handling God’s business decently and with order. She is chief consultant of Nance Communications, a vision casting firm in New Jersey and serves as Executive Administrator of Committed To The WORD Fellowship Center in Little Falls, NJ. To reach Lauren, call 973.389.2980 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.