When you think of the average junior high student what comes to mind?

Unaware.

Irresponsible.

Inexperienced.

Immature (the boys at least).

None of these are meant to be an insult. I believe in these students just as much as you do, but there are core competencies in life and leadership that most junior high students have yet to grab hold of.

Here’s the thing, just because these words classify a junior high student doesn’t mean that they should classify a junior high leader or ministry, but they often do. I want to speak for a moment to the value of excellence.

Excellence is first and foremost who we are, not what we do. If we are excellent, then what we do will be excellent.

The presence of excellence can be as subtle as eye contact in conversation or picking up the trash everyone else walked by. The lack of excellence can be as glaring as fingerprints on the drum cage, typos in your email, or speeding with students in the car… or ever for that matter.

Colossians 3:23-24

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Whatever you do…

Excellence always and in everything.

Everything worth doing is worth doing with excellence. To expect anything less of yourself is to expect too little.

Work at it with all your heart…

Excellence is not perfection.

Perfection demands that you have no error. Excellence simply demands that you give your best with what you have and where you are every single time. This debunks the idea that you must have a lot to be excellent.

Excellence transcends resource.

You can be as excellent with little as you can be with much. In fact, some people steward little with greater excellence than those that have much. So, the question is never whether or not we have the skill and resource to be excellent, but whether or not we have the will and resolve to be excellent.

As if working for the Lord and not for human masters…

I’m not sure any of us know who said it first, but many of us have laid hold of the truth that excellence honors God and inspires people. Our best tells the story that we care, and our care is simply a reflection that God cares. Our laziness tells a different story and communicates something about God that is not true.

One story will call people to a higher level and grant us greater influence to be a greater blessing. The other will convince people that where they are now is all that there is and ever will be.

Let’s be excellent for the glory of God, the good of others, and our joy.

-Mathew Young