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You’re Human? You’re Fired! November 4, 2012

Posted by worshipconvergence in Church, Leadership, ministry.
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Today, I want to touch on a big debate most churches face – the perfection bar.

I am not advocating creating a team or worship band of beginners to lead worship or to task with projects they’ve no clue how to complete. However there comes a point where “raising the bar” prevents people from serving. Which is more important, perfect performance or servants serving?

For fans of the 2009 Star Trek movie, serving in a church is getting closer and closer to being the Kobayashi Maru; the unbeatable test. Someone like me would never be allowed to play at Passion City or Bayside church. You have to be able to hang with Lincoln Brewster to be “good enough” to play in those churches, and there countless others following those footsteps. In the past couple of years, I’ve seen articles in Worship Leader magazine testifying that when a church is small and everyone knows each other, its okay to forgive mistakes, but as the church grows, the strangers who don’t know the others only see their mistakes, not their service, not their heart. In the article, the writer speaks of how he asked a singer to step down from the team for making a couple of mistakes that were endearing to those who knew her and distracting to those who didn’t. Pastors cater to the strangers’ concerns by making statements like, “As the church grows we’re going to have to raise the bar and set up auditions and the group is going to have to be the best of the best.” Trying to make it sound as if they’re doing it for God they’ll say, “Excellence honors God!….. and inspires people.” The telltale phrase, inspires people, more specifically, strangers… to come back.

I’m not disputing that God deserves the best, but, the best of his servants who are trying, beyond the pulpit, to know, love, and obey… or the best of adulterers living under the assumption “I’ll never be perfect, why should I even try to rise above sin?” Right now I could take this article two different directions: 1. to sin is human, so humans shouldn’t be removed for sinning. 2. mistakes are human, so mistake makers shouldn’t be short-changed for it. I’m going to answer number 1 and get it out of the way. No excuses for saved believers to lay down and never rise up so they never worry about falling.

1 Peter 2:16 – [Live] as free people, [yet] without employing your freedom as a pretext for wickedness; but [live at all times] as servants of God. -Amplified Bible

As for the second reason, that’s where I’m headed, and it can be summed up in this quote:

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” Henry Van Dyke

God deserves the best of those whose heart burns for Him. Those whose heart burns for Him deserve to serve. Would you hire, because of her musical skill, a professed atheist who moonlights as an adult film star? A strip club owner? Gangster? Bassist who spends his Saturday nights doing shots out of a stranger’s bellybutton, and then helps lead worship eight hours later? What does it say of a church who brings the world to the church so people want to come, instead of taking the church to the world? God wants to meet people where they are, but lead them where He wants them. Does He ever want us to feel defeated? Obsolete? Worthless? Churches can’t treat people these ways because God doesn’t want them to feel that way.

Its time to stop saying to servants, “You’re not good enough to serve here,” and its time to start saying to visitors, “If we’re not good enough for you, get to know us and come back until we are.”

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