bits from bob....


by Robert J. Young
Main and Oklahoma Church, McAlester, Oklahoma
March 7, 2003
©, 2003, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Quick! Summarize the goal of the Main and Oklahoma church in one word!
What word did you choose? Evangelism? Encouragement? Fellowship? Worship? I may have taken longer than I gave you, but I am considering excellence.

I knew of a man who had engraved on the back of his watch, "XL." He wanted a constant reminder of his desire to excel. Excellence is excelling. Excellence means each day gets better than the one before. Improvement, progress, moving forward.

Whatever we do for God deserves excellence. But excellence is not automatic. People of excellence commit to excellence--visible in quality, service, effectiveness, and purpose, and are satisfied with nothing less.
The desire for excellence is backed by Scripture. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (Col. 3:23). "Approve things that are excellent" (Phil. 1:10). Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might" (Eccl. 9:10).

What does this mean for the church? Half-hearted, slip-shod, "get it over with" approaches are banished! I am grateful for your continuing kind words about Sunday sermons. I am seeking excellence. There are several areas of church life where we need to increase our desire for excellence. One great need is excellence in evangelism. We must rethink our efforts to reach out and we must incorporate principles of excellence into those efforts. Evangelism and missions is no place for shoddy efforts!

Another is excellence in worship. A recent book, Worship Evangelism, reminds that a major "hook" in reaching churched and religious people (and even some unchurched) is the assembly. Our worship is a reflection of God. If our God is excellent, our worship must be excellent.
I encourage you to spend a few minutes considering what you believe to be the components of "excellent" worship. Is your worship excellent? Is mine? Is ours? How might we improve in inclining our hearts to God? How might we help one another, and those who visit seeking God? Will they find him? Can they find him in our assemblies? Do they leave saying, "God was surely there; I have met God today."

In everything we do, we represent God. Let us strive for excellence!

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Last updated March 7, 2003.