“Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
When I worked at Cross Point, roughly every six or eight weeks, we would hold a meeting for potential music team volunteers. This meeting sets the expectations to join our team. Being on the music team at Cross Point is a fun place to serve, but it comes with a cost. Cross Point strives to help people understand that cost before they jump in and are overwhelmed.
During this meeting, one of the best leaders I know, band & music director Matt Warren, usually makes this statement:
“We refuse to be a good enough ministry.”
If you have ever been to a Ritz Carlton hotel, you know that they value excellence. Everywhere you turn, every touch point, every experience is excellent. They’ve set a standard and refuse to allow anything less than excellence to represent them.
What if when you checked in they gave you a free breakfast voucher that was cut using scissors and printed on the copy machine in the back room? You would probably wonder if it is even valid. I mean, you could eat off the floor at the Ritz! If the bellman handles your bags like they’re fragile and treats you like a dignitary, why would they hand you a black and white, printed, hand cut voucher for breakfast? And at that moment, your opinion about the Ritz – even if you’re not “creative” – would change.
People may not recognize greatness immediately, but they do notice when things are less than great.
We would not do a birthday party, plan it all out, order catering, get a Cake Boss cake, and then a day before send out a hand written invitation on napkins…
We would not wait until Saturday to figure out what our stage or props are going to be for Sunday…
We would not invite 500 people to a dinner party and forget to order the food…
We can’t settle for being good enough when we know that greatness is achievable.
Jim Collins book, Good To Great, sums it up best:
“Good is the enemy of Great.”
In creative fields, we are commissioned to help keep that bar raised for greatness. It won’t be easy, but it is worth it. Part of our job is to eliminate the obstacles that prevent people from bumping into God. It takes showing up every day, being committed to making things great and knowing that the battle is uphill. It’s daunting, and sometimes we will miss…but promising to stay resolute in the battle is worth the work to represent what we believe is greatness.
So today, don’t settle for Good Enough. We are not striving for perfection, we are just seeking excellence. Great is waiting and makes a huge difference. Let’s Go!