1 Corinthians 10: 31 tells us that whatever we do we should do to the glory of God. I wonder how a pastor might prepare his or her sermon next Sunday if the Lord announced He would be attending the service. Would more thought go into the worship service? I've seen singers get nervous when they realized one of their heroes was in the audience. If you are a member of a Praise Team would you feel prepared to lead worship or sing a special if you saw Jesus sitting in the congregation? I think sometimes we forget that He is there. Every Sunday.
This means that everything we do must be done with excellence. Notice I did not say with perfection. Mistakes happen. Perfection is an impossible standard and not a healthy one to pursue. People who insist on perfection will often be very disappointed. However, we should seek to do all things with excellence. We serve an excellent Lord, and our service to Him should be done with excellence as well.
Excellence is also the way we have our greatest impact on our communities. A great ministry cannot be achieved through mediocrity. This is why I tell small church leaders that smaller churches can often accomplish more by doing less. Too often we try to do too many things in an effort to compete with larger churches in our areas. We do not have the resources to compete with them, and that is never God's intent for us. He has a vision that is unique for our church, and it is that vision that we are to pursue.
A church that tries to exceed its resources by doing too many things wears its people out and has minimal impact on its community as well. By identifying God's vision for our particular church and focusing on the two or three things that can enable us to achieve that vision we will find that we will make our greatest impact on the lives of others.
By following the Pareto Principle I estimate that most churches could eliminate 80 percent of what they are doing and accomplish more in the long run. When we work in the areas of our natural strengths we are much more effective. Identify those ministries that are a natural fit for your congregation and community and focus your efforts and resources on them. People's lives will be changed and God will be glorified as well.