As Christians, we demand excellence from our heavenly Father. We expect nothing less than total dedication, commitment, reliability and success from a Holy, righteous God. We are not looking for failure in God. Divinity and fallibility are incompatible.
We have every right to expect the very best from God. He, himself has set the standard of excellence for us. He is our ultimate example of complete success. Since we expect excellence from God, we should also be willing to demand that same excellence from ourselves.
Just as the Lord called us into Christian ministry and service, He also called us to reach for perfection in our vocation.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matt. 5: 48).
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called (Eph. 4: 1)
We are also required to demand excellence from those placed in our charge.
If you are a pastor, you are required by God to demand excellence out of your congregation as well as those who work with you in your ministry. As a minister called out on the field, you will demand excellence from the people who work for you and from the congregations you serve.
You must be willing to demand the highest form of excellence from the ministries we are involved in.
The apostle Paul recognized the gravity of his calling. He knew that the Gospel was committed into his trust. According to the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust (1 Tim. 1:11). Paul took the training of his disciples very seriously because he realized that they were handling the mightiest power in the universe. He wrote, For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth (Rom. 1:16). The Gospel is the power of God! The Gospel is not only the power by which a person is saved from hell, it is also God’s unlimited ability to save, heal and deliver.
As ministers of the Gospel, we are entrusted with God’s strength and might. We are therefore faced with two responsibilities:
- to develop and maintain excellence of ministry and
- to deal with Satan.
Excellence in ministry absolutely will not tolerate unbelief, failure or “taking the easy way out.” A ministry of excellence will pay whatever price it takes to get the job done God’s way. Our ministries represent Jesus Christ to the world. Ours is a sacred calling. It must be executed with dedication and integrity. We are expected to demonstrate absolute honesty and commitment. Without a firm decision to succeed with God’s help, we cannot hope to maintain the measure of maturity and perfection which our ministry must command.
Having acknowledged the call and anointing of God upon your life, we pose a serious threat to Satan. In his eyes, we have become the most dangerous living things on this globe. Our second responsibility is to contend with him.
Satan is not worried about God. He is postponing that inevitable confrontation as long as he can. But since we represent God’s divine power and authority in this world, the adversary must reckon with us. If a person were to die now, the devil would not care whether he went to heaven or hell. Either way, he would be forever removed from the field of battle and out of his way. What Satan does fear is a person who is alive, one who has God’s divine nature in his spirit. Only such a person can wield the sword of the spirit – the Word of God – with accuracy. We are dangerous to him, and we will have to resist him.
When we strap on the full armor of God (Eph. 6: 11), we must be prepared and determined to use it. The evil one will certainly attack us with all the forces of darkness. At the same time be prepared for victory! All the combined forces of hell are not powerful enough to defeat us!
The armory of the devil and of his cohorts is restricted to that which is common to man (1 Cor. 10:13). He cannot go back into knowledge of spiritual warfare and make use of supernatural weaponry. His power and his arms are limited! Satan has no secret tactics to call upon to prevail against us if we will stand firm. The God-given weapons of our warfare are powerful through God to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4). He is limited. We are not. The victory is ours! First John 4:4 and 1 Corinthians 15:57 guarantee it. …greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the following pages, I have outlined six basic steps to assure excellence in ministry. Read and study them prayerfully. Learn them. Live by them. Your success will be assured. You have my Word on it. But most importantly, you have God’s Word on it because His scriptural Word is the authority on which it is all based.