Re: Pursuing Excellence

Travis posted some great questions in Pursuing Excellence: Where do you draw the line?

Here’s my response:

If the church grows shouldn’t the opportunities grow as well? There are more places to use artistic gifts than simply the Sunday morning large community experience.

If someone is really passionate about music are they playing in local clubs? We need Christians doing that. How can the local church help to facilitate it happening? Are we stopping short at saving orphans in Uganda, which totally rocks, or are we also impacting the culture of our cities positively at the grass roots level?

Are are these Christians artists recording their stuff and putting their music up on myspace?

If they are really passionate about worship are they willing to lead worship for a smaller venues. (Small Group Bible Studies, Men’s groups, Celebrate Recovery, etc…)

Those who are called and gifted to lead worship for large community gatherings are few. I’ve been in churches of 100 that had only 10 in the band and churches of 3000 that had only 30. I think that’s ok. Not everyone is called the Sunday Stage. Because of the temptation for pride involved in such a visual place of ministry it is the extremely few who can approach that ministry with a humble attitude. I would be skeptical about anyone who wanted to get up stage in front of 300 people but wasn’t willing to clean the kitchen or serve in children’s church.

With that said, local church leaders do have a responsibility to help people explore their gifting, discern their calling, and equip their ministry.

9 Responses to “Re: Pursuing Excellence”

  1. 1 Sarah Chia February 8, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Personally, I think we should save the orphans in Jamaica, too.

    I also liked Fred’s thought (on Travis’ original post) of “Excellence in MINISTRY and Excellence in MUSIC are not necessarily the same thing.”

    I think as long as the heart’s focus is on the kingdom and not the human standards, we’ll do just fine.

  2. 2 Peter Park February 8, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Awesome Insight. Will you mentor me? Wait, you already do by sharing your life through your blog.

  3. 3 Kristin February 8, 2008 at 9:29 am

    I worked with a drama ministry a couple of years ago, and I chose not to hold auditions at all. Instead I held a workshop for people who were interested and during that time we worked on skills together and talked about worship through dramatic arts. We spent some time talking about what 1 Timothy 3 says. I found that the people who maybe were not as gifted in drama during that worshop began to realize that it was not the area for them, and the people whose hearts were not in the right place fell away too. Of course, there were some who still thought they held more talent than they actually were, so I established a sort of “rotation” that allowed those people to learn some skills and work on sets, lighting, etc in the process of honing their skills. Then I added them into “minor” roles as they increased in skill.

    I think the church should not just be a place for DOING art, but also a place for LEARNING art. It’s more important in my opinion to build a person than just build a program.

  4. 4 worship1 February 8, 2008 at 10:01 am

    “If they are really passionate about worship are they willing to lead worship for a smaller venues. (Small Group Bible Studies, Men’s groups, Celebrate Recovery, etc…”

    Billy, you bring up a great point here. Ive met quite a few “worship leaders” that think they are not “called” to lead children’s worship or small groups or go into small outreach ministry like convalescent homes. They claim that their ministry is to play big venues or lead big church services. This thinking reveals they think they are too talented to do such menial service. They just don’t have the heart to lead people to Christ no matter who they are.

    Are we called to only lead adults in large numbers to Jesus? Obviously not. Excellence in Ministry comes as a result of understanding who we are in Christ and having an accurate response to the cross.

    Gotta love this post, Billy. There’s some really good stuff here. You got me thinking again… that could be dangerous.

  5. 5 W.E.B. Adamant February 8, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    I have a question. You may have gotten it before, but I thought I’d ask. What do you think about the megachurches? Those with thousands upon thousands of people, and that people have to look at big screen TVs to even glimpse the pastor?

  6. 6 Billy Chia February 8, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Sarah – Yeah I like Fred’s distinction as well.

    Peter – thanks for the kind words. Yeah I am way down with all of us worship guys learning from each other via blogs.

    Kristin – “the church should not just be a place for DOING art, but also a place for LEARNING art” I love it.

    Cosima – right on. There is even potential for smaller venues to be a “training ground” where the church can facilitate people learning art not simply doing it. You can be a great musician and a terrible worship leader.

    WEB – I think a lot of different things about “mega churches.” There are pros can cons to being a big churchs as there are pros and cons to being a small church.

    I play devil’s advocate a bit: Which pastor are you referring to? The teaching pastor? The lead Pastor? The Executive Pastor? The Discipleship Pastor? The counseling Pastor? The associate Worship Pastor?

    As far as my experience has been mega churches seldom have one guy who is the pastor. In fact my church is pretty small (a little over 100 at the Sunday crowd level) but we have 4 people on “pastoral staff.”

    Really once your church is larger than 30 people it’s impossible for one guy to connect in a meaningful way with everyone. I mean even Jesus limited himself to 12 and he was Jesus!

    If your church is larger than 12 you should really have a “mega church” attitude where you do not expect your senior pastor to personally connect with everyone – but rather you work off of a team environment. I believe the size of your church is less relevant than how you are doing church.

  7. 7 brunettekoala February 8, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    I remember Mike Pilavachi saying that one of the reason he respects Matt Redman’s gifting as a lead worshipper is that he once watched him give his all at ‘The Champion of the World’ event leading worship in Wembley Stadium, and the next day giving it all just as much leading about 12 people in worship in their local shopping centre in Watford.

    I, however, got banned from serving in the kitchen after I flooded a church kitchen at a university Christian Union meeting…

  8. 8 Billy February 16, 2008 at 9:11 am

    I do believe that there is a focus role that is filled/served by our staffs. But there can be a dangerous thought pattern that can creep in when we forget that we are all a royal priesthood. Encouragement in our journey doesn’t only come from “pastors” but from each other. Washing each others feet is not a glamours lifestyle . But at the core of it, our faith leads us away from a me-centric life.

  9. 9 Billy Chia February 19, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Right on! ALL Christians are part of the royal priesthood – not simply pastors.

Comments are currently closed.


Follow me on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: