Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm sorry. It's just that I've never seen people celebrate mediocrity the way you do.

We continue with our series based on The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do, by Mark Atteberry. The following are some notes from the Sunday school lesson (taught by Cody Dixon) at Providence Church.

DUMB MOVE #8: Settling for Mediocrity

“When we hear the word excellence, we think of God, the Bible, and all sorts of secular businesses, celebrities, and sports teams, but, apparently, we don’t think of the church.”

Sadly, when it comes to church, people often feel at liberty to slack off and not give their best, to not strive for excellence.

3 Reasons Excellence Matters:

1. God loves excellence.

God is consumed with His glory and does everything to the end of His glory, creation, salvation, governing providence, etc. Nothing is done half-baked.

2. The Bible commands excellence. (cf. Col 3:23-24; 1 Cor 10:31)

3. People respond to excellence.

“Everyone talks about how expensive Disney is, but people just keep paying the money no matter how high the prices get because they know they’re getting the best.”

“… we’ll probably get one chance to make a good impression.”

What does excellence require?

“Excellence is intentional. It happens when people make a conscious choice to meet its requirements.”

1. Excellence requires courage.

… to challenge the status quo.

2. Excellence requires giftedness.

“One of the greatest obstacles to excellence in the church is the mismanagement of God’s gifts.”
  • Some people are ignorant of their gifts.
  • Some people know their gifts but refuse to serve in those areas.
  • Some people know their gifts are lacking but insist on serving in those areas anyway.
“No one ever wants to admit that he’s not the right person for the job, but sometimes it’s the truth. Excellence requires that we serve in areas where we can do the most good … and the least harm.”

3. Excellence requires money.
  • Fact #1: Quality costs more, but generally pays for itself in the long run.
  • Fact #2: Quality equipment and resources will be a blessing to your servants.
  • Fact #3: High quality always makes a great first impression.
  • Fact #4: A commitment to quality says something about your love for the Lord.
4. Excellence requires thorough planning and preparation.

“The bottom line is that a lack of preparation and planning in the Lord’s work is the straightest road to mediocrity.”

5. Excellence requires perseverance.

Excellence is not easily achieved and is the fruit of prolonged efforts.

Discussion Questions:
  1. When speaking of excellence, why would church not be one of the first things Christians would think of?
  2. “Name some areas where you feel your church demonstrates excellence. Are there some areas where you feel improvement is needed? What, specifically, could you do to improve the quality of those areas?”
  3. Why do people often put forth less effort where church is concerned (e.g., punctuality, reliability, follow through on commitments, diligence, etc.) than in other areas of their lives (e.g., job, sports activities, clubs, physical family functions, etc.)? Doesn’t the Lord and His Bride deserve better?

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At 16 July, 2009 08:27, Blogger samurai said...

I know i have settled for mediocrity in my own life... way too many times...

Thank you for this post today Gunny

At 16 July, 2009 09:48, Blogger Young Wife said...

2. Exellence - doctrine, preaching, teaching and accomodating infants and children.
Mediocrity - outreach, fellowship

3. I think that if you are consistently late you are telling others, "My time is more valuable than yours. I do not respect you." I don't know why people can't prioritize church, other than the answer to all life's problem's: people are sinners.

At 19 July, 2009 07:58, Blogger Mark said...

Meet the Fockers

At 06 August, 2009 07:58, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would comment on this, but it would require a small amount of courage, giftedness, planning, preparation and perseverance, so...


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