May 6, 2013
I once heard a sports analyst describe an undefeated college team this way: "They have a tendency to play at the level of their opponents. They seem to do only as much as is necessary to win, and nothing more." He went on to say, "Their mediocrity will catch up them; they won't be serious contenders for the national championship this year." He was right; they lost that weekend.
Mediocrity is a curse. Mediocrity does what it can to avoid a bad showing, but rarely concerns itself with an excellent showing.
We see this all too often in worship. We see it in congregations who engage themselves half-heartedly in a worship service.
We also see it in our approach to ministry, from the way we print our bulletins to the extent of our efforts to reach the lost. Many churches are held back only by their commitment to mediocrity.
In talking about his approach to ministry, Paul said, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one get the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." (1 Corinthians 9:24)
He's talking about pursuing excellence in everything: in the way we strive for holiness, in the way we reach out to others, in the way we live for Jesus. His words echo the words of Solomon: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
Let's do our best to move in the direction of excellence, running to win the race.
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