The very best

15 Feb


Sitting down at the piano with 1:38 left on the countdown video, I arranged the charts I hadn’t seen since the rehearsal four days ago.  My scrawled pencil marks reminded me of some basic cues, but my heart squeezed my blood pressure until I felt my pulse in my fingers. “I meant to practice.  Really,” I whispered a quick confession, not daring to ask for his help since I hadn’t made time to practice.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I led our worship teams in a study of Psalm 33:3

         Sing to him a new song;
.               play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

The word skillfully means “with excellence and great skill”. Excellence is one of our worship ministry’s top values.

Here’s why – if we are worshiping the God of the universe, the Creator of all things, the Father who sent His only Son to die for our sins and who adopted us, our Sustainer and Provider (the list could go on and on); if this is Who we worship, how can we give Him anything less than our very best?

Excellence is doing the very best we can
with what we have for God’s glory

Excellence is doing the very best we can with what we have for God’s glory. Excellence takes many forms, is intentional, and includes sacrifice. A short list of examples–

  • Making personal practice a priority instead of “winging it” (!)
  • Valuing mid-week rehearsal, being on time and staying engaged even as it gets late
  • Not being satisfied with the status quo, constantly looking for a way to improve
  • Reading the equipment manual and learning new technical solutions to issues
  • Getting up really early every Sunday for a tech tun-through so that each element and is tested, rehearsed, and ready to go

Excellence is different from perfectionism.

Perfectionism may look the same as excellence on the outside, but the heart attitude and motivation couldn’t be more different.  Perfectionism strives for a flawless performance and is dissatisfied with anything less. The goal is a perfect end product with an inherent at-any-cost mentality, so that mistakes loom larger than all else. Ego and reputation are wrapped up in delivering an impeccable performance, consequently, a disappointing presentation means the performer’s worth is greatly reduced. Simply put, this is pride– performance for self.

Excellence seeks to do its very best, and is happy with a less-than-perfect result. Far from a “settling” mindset, however, excellence learns from mistakes and works to make the next time even better.  The focus is on God and pleasing him, not on the performance or on self.

Excellence is doing the very best we can with what we have for God’s glory.


Ready for Sunday

What am I doing during the week to get ready for Sunday so that my contribution to the service is excellent?

How do my priorities reflect my commitment to worship God with excellence?  (One answer to this for me is that I now put “practice” on my schedule!)

What other activities, practices, and attitudes are important to excellence?

This is the first post in a 3-part series on Excellence vs. Perfectionism.
Next week: “What we have”

3 Responses to “The very best”

  1. Susannah Francis February 16, 2013 at 5:09 am #


    Awesome devo! So glad you sent it. It goes right along with our last discussion with the praise band last week, so I just forwarded it out to the group. It is so true that we struggle to give God our very best when we are in the mode of volunteering. Instead, we should see it as the amazing opportunity to come to His Throne and lavish our love onto Him. Praise God!

    On Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 9:23 PM, worship devo

    • cathyhowie February 16, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      Thanks for your kind words, Susannah. You are right, being called as a volunteer can be challenging, but the opportunity, as you said, is just as great (maybe even more so since income isn’t involved) as a vocational minister.


  1. Paradox: Strength & Weakness | worship devo - August 17, 2013

    […] heard me say this before. Many times. Nothing new […]

Please let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: