The Call to Excellence

by vernsanders on April 19, 2011

This month I’ve decided to feature short (at least that’s the plan) bits of random information (most of which has been gleaned from my ongoing transfer of information from the old Creator site to the new one…)
Today’s topic: Excellence
Today’s source: Scripture
Today’s question: Are you committed to excellence?

There is a great lesson to be learned, for those who are serving in a local church, and also any involved in teaching on an educational level, in the Scripture passage beginning in Exodus 35, verse 30. Read these words:

He has filled them with skills to do all kinds of work
as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple,
and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers–all of them
master craftsmen and designers.
So every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill
and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing
the Sanctuary is to do the work just as the Lord commanded.
Then, Moses summoned every skilled person to whom
the Lord had given ability. and who was willing to come
and do the work. They received from Moses all the
offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out
the work of constructing the sanctuary.
And the people…continued to bring freewill offerings
morning after morning.
So the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the
work on the sanctuary left their work and said to Moses:

“The people are bringing more than enough
for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.”

Then, Moses gave an order, and they sent this word
throughout the camp:

“No man or woman…is to make anything
else as an offering for the sanctuary.”

And so, the people were restrained from bringing more
because what they already had more than enough
to do all the work.

Read the last sentence again! The people–had to be restrained–from bringing more offerings–because the workers doing God’s work–already had more than enough–to do the work.

More…Than Enough!

How long has it been in your church when the pastor has had to say to the congregation:

“We can’t use any more offerings, Dear People!
We have more than enough.”

How long has it been in your music ministry that you have had to say to your people:

“I’m sorry, people. We can’t use any more choir members,
or children’s choir workers, or orchestra players, or handbell ringers.
We have more than enough.”

When was the last time the Education Minister had to say:

We have no more room for teachers in our Bible teaching sessions.
If you wish to teach, you’ll just have to wait for an opening.
We have more than enough right now.

Would to God–that even in our day, we might just once have the opportunity just once to experience in our churches the words: We have more than enough.

The great screen writer, Oscar Hammerstein II, in his book, Lyrics, tells the story of a photograph he once saw that was looking down on the Statue of Liberty. This photograph showed marvelous and intricate craftsmanship by the sculptor, which included the all-but-invisible hairdo which is rarely seen on Lady Liberty.

Hammerstein notes in his book that the statue was crafted long before the era of airplanes and helicopters. So how could the sculptor have seen all the details? He saw all the details–in his mind’s eye–and since he was a premiere artist, he meant to finish off this part of the stature with as much care as he had devoted to the Lady Liberty’s visible features.

Hammerstein drew this conclusion:

When creating a work of art or doing any other kind of work,
finish the job with perfection.

Hammerstein has provided a major lesson for our throw-away, plastic and temporary generation–that will accept shoddiness and second-rate craftsmanship without question.

Perhaps, more often than not, we may find ourselves guilty of accepting mediocrity–average–because

• we do not choose go the second mile
• we do not work with as much personal discipline as we should
• we find ourselves accepting less than our people are capable of giving

• we do not strive for the excellence achieved with bit more effort

By the way, the Tabernacle that was mentioned in the Exodus scripture was to be a Portable Worship Center for the ancient Israelites. Don’t you think  they could have gotten by with a simple tent-front type tabernacle, or perhaps even worshiped outside the tent of Moses?

But, please notice that even in a portable Tabernacle, God required nothing less than the best: the best craftsmen, the best designers, the best workmen.  These men and women were filled with the Spirit of God and possessed the necessary skills, abilities and knowledge to do the task right– the first time–without any retakes or start-overs. The idea of perfection and quality in service and worship to God continues even into the New Testament times. Colossians 3:23, says:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for men.
It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

More than enough! No matter what area of responsibility you have at present or the area for which you will be responsible, each area should be a call-to-excellence.

This call-to-excellence is

• not issued by man
• not decreed in any text book
• not taught in university, graduate school or seminary.
• not called for in local church bylaws
• not found in any job description that has ever this

This call-to-excellence comes from God:

• who has specifically called us into His service
• to be one of His skilled craftsmen
• to serve in His vineyard
• to be responsible for adding branches and more fruit to His Kingdom
• to lift high the Cross of Jesus Christ w/ professionalism & good taste
• to challenge our people to stretch beyond themselves
• to accomplish more than we ever thought possible
• and, to keep alive the lamp of quality and perfection

Food for thought…

Ipod shuffle status: 2919 (Long, Long Ago – Hebert Howells)  of 7875

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