Excellent: outstandingly good of its kind; of exceptional merit. I was talking to Andy our pastor after the Easter services and he said he believes our church exerted every ounce of energy we could to pull of this great Easter celebration. He said it stretched us. I believe he’s right. If I had to guess, I would say the C3 conference had a lot to do with it. Andy is a good leader for many reasons, but one thing in particular is that he knows that if you want your staff to embrace excellence and take it to the next level, you have to take them somewhere they can see it. Then they get it and can own it for their area of ministry.
Have you ever attended a conference that, even after months have gone by, still bears powerful influence in your conscious thought? I have. I will have to admit I didn’t see it coming either. In February our church staff (minus the Santos family-we missed you guys!) attended a conference. The point of the conference was to help pastors and leaders advance in their creativity, leadership, and vision. For me the teaching was very good, and I learned a lot, but the teaching isn’t what impacted me the most. What is still influencing my thoughts today is the excellence of their worship and presentation in every way. Let me explain.
This stage was filled (like probably 25-30 people at times!) with lively, talented and worshipful people who finally put a face on excellence in worship for me. Now I know what it can look like. The energy and enthusiasm with which they led was a testimony of the power and majesty of God! And the priviledge of worship! Excellence reflects God’s worth.
I am not saying they were the pinnacle of excellence. They wouldn’t say that either I assure you; but what I am saying is that the quality of their presentation was superior to anything I had ever seen, and it therefore impacted me deeply. I believe God really used that conference to change me. At South Bay I am part of the worship team. I am on stage Sunday morning with the band. How many Christians in the Silicon Valley are there that can play guitar better than me? A lot. Should someone else have my place? There are many who are more qualified. Every Sunday I get to participate is a blessing to me. Its humbling to serve in this way, with these wonderful people.
God has impressed upon my heart something very significant about worship. Think about it this way (if you know me you know I often use images to express ideas!) Every person on the stage has a cup full of potential influence. Like a cup of water. The opportunity to lead is there. On one end of the spectrum you have people on who fail to use any of it. On the other end of the spectrum you have people who pour theirs out like an offering and give everything they have to lead others to worship. I want to be used by Him. . . Not useless. Every moment matters, and He deserves everything I’ve got to give anyway.
If I don’t glorify Him the rocks will take my place. How unfortunate for me!