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Your Belief System and Your Church (12): Excellence is NOT a Goal

"Excellence is not an act, but a habit." --Aristotle

TRUE STORY. I once heard of a teacher who maintained an index card file of 180 cards in a green metal box on his desk—one card for each of the 180 mandated days of the school year. One day #1 he pulled out card #1 and lectured its outline. One day #2, he lectured from card #2. And so on to 180. This was his teaching curriculum for 180 days, year after year after year. Students, for years after, made him the brunt of many behind-the-scenes party jokes. Did this teacher ever expand his subject knowledge base? No. Did he ever change his presentation methods to match the different learning styles of his students? No. Did he ever change his subject materials to reflect the entry levels of his students different with each new year? No. Did this teacher ever consider qualities of excellence in his professional career? No. What is the moral of this sad story? “Some teachers teach their first year 35 times and then retire.”

EVALUATION. Teachers constantly use standards of measurement for evaluating their students. Too bad this teacher never did for himself. So let us consider one for him. Envision an ordinal scale of 0 to 100. The bottom category is 0 to 69 for those teachers who never consider excellence as part of their professional careers. The middle category is 70 to 89 for those teachers who have excellence as a goal toward which they strive and hope one day to arrive. The top category from 90 to 100 is for those teachers for whom excellence is NOT an end goal, but an every day constant MODE OF OPERATION.

If your personal physician performed in his profession in either of the bottom two categories, would you allow him/her to operate on you? Why is it we demand higher accountability from our physical doctors than we do from our spiritual ones? In God’s Kingdom, what would happen if we used this same scale for evaluating ministries and churches?

Pastor, what is your paradigm concerning excellence, and how has it played out in your church? In which category is your personal spiritual leadership? Realizing that followers are a result of their leadership, in which category is your members' spiritual daily mode of operation?

Your Belief System and Your Church: (1) Introduction

Your Belief System and Your Church: (2) Your Paradigms

Your Belief System and Your Church: (3) Bondage or Freedom

Your Belief System and Your Church: (4) Gateway Skills

Your Belief System and Your Church: (5) Teacher Accountability

Your Belief System and Your Church: (6) Talking About vs. Doing

Your Belief System and Your Church: (7) Student Accountability

Your Belief System and Your Church: (8) Assessment

Your Belief System and Your Church: (9) Bury Dead Tradition

Your Belief System and Your Church: (10) Teaching vs. Learning

Your Belief System and Your Church: (11) Teachers' Three Phases

Your Belief System and Your Church: (12) Excellence is NOT a Goal

Your Belief System and Your Church: (13) My Teaching Limits Were Their Learning Limits

Your Belief System and Your Church: (14) Unlearning Creates Success

Your Belief System and Your Church: (15) Pioneers vs. Settlers

Your Belief System and Your Church: (16) Real and Lasting Learning

Your Belief System and Your Church: (17) Problems With Memory

Your Belief System and Your Church: (18) Ownership Creates Success

Your Belief System and Your Church: (19) Not Perfect, But Honest

Your Belief System and Your Church: (20) Take Risks and Give Away Control

Your Belief System and Your Church: (21) Out of a Job

Your Belief System and Your Church: (22) KCAASE and Proverbs 24

Your Belief System and Your Church: (23) Responding vs. Reacting

Your Belief System and Your Church: (24) Only When Performed

Your Belief System and Your Church: (25) A Supervisor's Vision

Your Belief System and Your Church: (26) Glimpses Into the Spiritual

Your Belief System and Your Church: (27) One Reason Alone

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If I had a Pastor like that teacher, I would switch to a new church after about a year; probably sooner Conversation would soon reveal that the old timers all new what he was going to say next and how it would be said. Not much to learn here.
Pastor, what is your paradigm concerning excellence, and how has it played out in your church?

answer -
proclaiming Christ to all and make disciples of all ethnicities....

perfection is completion - a Christian will be finished, complete and perfect when in the presence of the lord on that day...we are complete, perfect, finished - in Him - by Him - through Him nd finalized when with Him

when Christ on the cross said - it is finished....thats the word perfect.... the work of redemption and saving is perfect...........we are saved y faith....were saved ...are being saved ....will be saved..... the last part our Heavenly Body ...........

the Cross - Christthe foundation....knowing nothing but christ and Him crucified....then we see - not laying again the foundation of repenatance from dead works, faith towards God, doctrine of baptism(s), layingon of hands, resurection from the dead and eternal judgement - THIS WE WILL DO IF GOD PERMITS.... let us go on to PERFECTION

we try to perfect - before god permits...thatshow we end up with weak, wimpy, nominal or perhaps counterfeit chrisitans.........becuase they have not been brought Gods way - but man thinking he is wiser than god has made a new way, a differnent way into the things of god the kingdom, salvation

Look at the basics..the cross..in it the challenge to disicplieship, an obedient life, a holy life, a worker for God, a sacrificia life given to the purpoe of God - not for lusts of this world...the lusts of the eyes, the flesh and the pride of life - these all are of this world...perfection is applying the power of the finished work of Jesus... self died with him so he could live through us and touch the lost - I died to the world and the world died to me through the cross.... i was delievered of the age (the power) and will be delivered from the presence of it at the snatching, ripping away up to Him in the air on that day........... and more...

it amazes how all thesepeople want to teach gods people how to be excellent or complete or whole but without laying the foundation of what god specificall and clearly says is the foundation..........further the word is clear - we go on to 'perfection as god permits.....surely the lord is not moving us to perfection - the pinnacle of the building / temple without first having laid the foundation in that persons life....

and so we have messed up chrsitians with many piecesof buidling sitting on the lad of their lives but the foundation still has not been laid so there it site..off to another seminar or conference to get another window or door - but no FONDATION is laid yet....no archiect yet to be sure the foundation is laid and see how the whole building is to go up and be sure it is built that way.........no just a bunch of self help, self improvement things powerless to effect a life thats pleasing to God....

and these are the very ones who will conflict with those who know the truth..

people - eternal judgement is a foundational elementary basic principla and teaching of Christ and yet the'gos is lovers ' - want to criticize those who proclaim it a truth - or not ever speak aboput it because it is offensive

they do the same with REPENTANCE...anoher first foundation and elementary principle of Christ

are we really amazed at the 'falling away from the faith' - in the church today?? are we really amazed at the decption in the church today - we are not just talking about doctrinal error - thats bad enough but no we have evil deceiving emons teaching and working in te church of the Lord Jesus Christ in many quarters - whats the answer?? SPEAK UP WITH THE TRUTH...
Rev. Rich,
Your explanation (assessment) of spiritual "basics" is super cool. How would you like to see a curriculum developed wherein spiritual basics (like you described) are taught first and foremost? (Comparable to all the "ing" active participation words in music education)
Blessings, Dave
Pastor Rich,
Just to clarify I was not indicating that a pastor should mess with the basics. I expect my pastor to cover salvation, baptism, prayer, sin, sanctification, justification, Eastrer, Christmas, the Holy Spirit etc. I do however prefer that it be presented a little differently from time to time. That way I can still learn something even when I have heard it a thousand times before. I understood Dave to be describing someone who always said the same thing, the same way, at the same time, year after year.
There is a time in my life where I was searching and being drawn back to the Lord after drifting for a time. I had just finished college and seldom went to church. I returned to the church I had gone to as a child and caught the pastor at the time giving the exact same Christmas message he had given the year before. I was thoroughly tired of talking heads with nothing to say. This is how I judged the poor man. (I know now that there were other issues were affecting his preaching.) I don't think I ever returned to that church and soon found another where the pastor preached with deeper insight. .... You see I saw this pastor as the kind of person who would say the same thing, the same way year after year.
Lisa

I'm feeling it's time to discuss Excellence again.  After dealing with some workers coming to my house to do various construction jobs on my Pastor's Retreat Center renovations, it was saddening to realize that the majority of bosses and their workers that I employed did not operate in Excellence.  Just imagine if God is presently building Heaven using their same sloppy work ethics.  (He said, "I go to prepare a place for you...")

I'm going to say it again--EXCELLENCE is not an end goal--it is a minute-by-minute WORK HABIT.  (Perhaps my workers had never been exposed to the super levels of excellence that I was as a child.)  If one is not sure of what excellence is within a given task, then GO EDUCATE yourself until you know thoroughly what is inferior and what is superior!  This is how I desire to partner with God to build His Kingdom (The Domain of the King)!  I don't want to be in the category of believers wherein all their wood-hay-and-stubble works are burned with fire while they themselves are barely saved.

I'd like to see Excellence applied to the church realm and building the Kingdom of God.  (Does anyone mind if I ask challenging and provoking questions?)

Blessings, Dr. Dave

 This is not from Aristotle but Will Durant an American writer. From the book,

The Story of Philosophy

 Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.  


Will Durant  fought for equal wages, women's suffrage and fairer working conditions for the American labor force.

Will Durant saw the decline of a civilization as a culmination of strife between religion and secular intellectualism, thus toppling the precarious institutions of convention and morality:

"Hence a certain tension between religion and society marks the higher stages of every civilization. Religion begins by offering magical aid to harassed and bewildered men; it culminates by giving to a people that unity of morals and belief which seems so favorable to statesmanship and art; it ends by fighting suicidally in the lost cause of the past. For as knowledge grows or alters continually, it clashes with mythology and theology, which change with geological leisureliness. Priestly control of arts and letters is then felt as a galling shackle or hateful barrier, and intellectual history takes on the character of a "conflict between science and religion." Institutions which were at first in the hands of the clergy, like law and punishment, education and morals, marriage and divorce, tend to escape from ecclesiastical control, and become secular, perhaps profane. The intellectual classes abandon the ancient theology and—after some hesitation—the moral code allied with it; literature and philosophy become anticlerical. The movement of liberation rises to an exuberant worship of reason, and falls to a paralyzing disillusionment with every dogma and every idea. Conduct, deprived of its religious supports, deteriorates into epicurean chaos; and life itself, shorn of consoling faith, becomes a burden alike to conscious poverty and to weary wealth. In the end a society and its religion tend to fall together, like body and soul, in a harmonious death. Meanwhile among the oppressed another myth arises, gives new form to human hope, new courage to human effort, and after centuries of chaos builds another civilization."

One more quote from, Will Durant.

"As to harmonizing the theory of evolution with the Biblical account of creation, I do not believe it can be done, and I do not see why it should be. The story of Genesis is beautiful, and profoundly significant as symbolism: there is no good reason to torture it into conformity with modern theory."


Did Durant quote it from Aristotle, or is it an original statement from himself?

Durant's intellectual paragraph is worthy of much contemplation.

Also love Durant's statement that there is no good reason to torture God's account of creation into conformity with evolution.

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