I was at the gym the other day and noted that the beige walls aren’t beige any more. They have been transformed into varying bright hues of blue, green, yellow, and red. I vividly remember the last time such colors were in vogue, back in the 1960’s and ‘70’s. As I left the gym, a fellow passed by me wearing a tie-dye tee shirt. I felt as if I had been transported about 40-50 years back in time! Can harvest gold refrigerators and avocado green blenders be far behind? Wait for it – they’ll be back.
All this serves as a reminder that “what goes around comes around,” eventually. Styles, color preferences, and trends change; but what really happens is they move through an endless cycle of eventually looping around and back into popularity.
There is one thing, however, that never grows old and never goes out of style: excellence. Even churches go through various phases of what is “in” and what is “out,” but while what we do may change over time, how we do what we do never changes in the expectation for quality. Excellence is timeless. It is always a worthy goal and never ceases to be appreciated.
River Road Church does many things well. There is a tradition of expectation of excellence. That is a good thing. The key is discovering what the congregation truly has a heart for, and excellence will follow. It is impossible to motivate people to excellence when their hearts are not in an undertaking; it is much more likely we will achieve excellence when we are already committed to a cause.
Excellence to me means that which is marked by God-honoring quality and that which reflects our very best efforts. We do not have to be the latest, the greatest, or even the best at what we do – we simply should be the best we can be. My hope for RRCB is that its worship, its congregational care, its spiritual formation endeavors and its missions efforts will all reflect excellence. That means exhibiting heartfelt commitment to what the church senses it is called to be and do – and performing to the very best of our abilities.
“Good enough” isn’t good enough. God deserves our best and is honored by excellence. That will never become an outdated concept.