Pathway to excellence 

Pastor Benny Ho // January 17, 2018, 5:00 am


Anything that is worth doing is worth doing well. Serving God through our work is definitely something worth doing. 

Therefore when it comes to our work, we want to develop a spirit of excellence that makes us go a step further, stay a little later, do a little more, shoot a little higher and aim a little further. 

Excellence separates the best from the rest! Excellence is not perfection but it is defined as using all that God has deposited in us to the maximum capacity for God’s glory and man’s good. 

And when true excellence happens, it glorifies God and inspires man. 

Let’s anchor this thought with a Scripture in Malachi 1:6-8. 

In Malachi 1:6, God told the people of Israel that He had an offence against them. The people began to rack their brains to try and figure out what went wrong. Finally, they asked the Lord: “Well, what did we do?” 

Speaking on God’s behalf, Malachi responded: “Don’t you know that you are to go into your flock and select the best, the most valuable, the most prized lamb from your flock for your offering to God? 

“But instead, you go into your flock and intentionally overlook the best sheep and go for the ones which are blind and lame. You go for the diseased one that is leaning against the fence about to topple over any time. 

“You purposely grab that one and run for the altar just before it dies and give it to God. Your attitude is: This will do. It’s only for God.” 

If our goal is to glorify and honour God, then this attitude of half-hearted service must be totally removed. Our Almighty God deserves our absolute best! 

Since the time when I was a young Christian, I have been taught to raise the bar of excellence when it comes to ministry. 

Every sermon I preached, every lesson I taught, every meeting I led … I wanted to do it with a spirit of excellence. 

This does not mean that every sermon or every lesson is a 10. We all have our off-days. But it is the best I can do at that point in time. 

Can you imagine what would happen if every salesperson, every service staff, every construction worker, every department head, every musician, every CEO, every police officer, every nurse, every civil servant comes with this attitude: 

“Boss, don’t worry about me. I am committed to giving my best lamb every single time. I will consistently give to God nothing but my best. The standard I set for myself will exceed your expectation every time; not because I am trying to impress you but because I desire to please my God!” 

It will explode us into the next level! We must build a culture of excellence because excellence honours God and inspires people.

Now, let me put some flesh and bones to what excellence looks like: 

1. Think ahead 

If we want to advance on the road to excellence, one of the keys is to always think ahead. We cannot simply waltz up to the plate and just wing it. We cannot leave things to the last minute and then hope for the best. Think ahead and never be caught with our pants down! 

We don’t just try, we train for excellence. We don’t just perform, we prepare for excellence. We don’t just pray, we practise excellence. 

We don’t just try, we train for excellence. We don’t just perform, we prepare for excellence. We don’t just pray, we practise excellence. 

We do both so that we are truly giving God our best. It is excellence by choice, not by chance.

2. Follow through 

If we want to walk in the spirit of excellence, we must learn to follow through in everything we do. 

Whatever we agree to do, we must do it! What we promise, we deliver. What we agree on, we act upon. 

If you say you will be there, you show up. If you say you will send it, then do it. If you say you will find out, follow through. If you are sent an email, reply it or at least acknowledge it. 

Excellence by choice means our aim is to over-deliver. Our goal is to exceed expectations. We go beyond what is average. We move from routine to remarkable. This is what it means to excel! 

Success always follows when you exceed people’s expectations. Excellence by choice demands that we go the extra mile, follow through on all we promise, over-deliver and exceed expectations for God’s glory. 

3. Take responsibility 

There will always be times when, for some reason, we are not able to follow through on our promises, or we fail to deliver what we agreed on. That is alright. Excellence is not perfectionism. 

In the pursuit of excellence, there is room for failures and errors. The most important thing is that we must take responsibility for our mistakes. I believe that people appreciate it when we do. 

Excellence is compromised only when we fail to deliver and we sweep it under the carpet and pretend that nothing has happened. We act as if it is all good when it is not. 

If we want to build up a spirit of excellence, we must learn to take responsibility for our mistakes. We learn from it. We make changes and, as a result, we advance further along the road to excellence. 

4. Add value 

Going up the road to excellence will also require us to constantly seek to add value to whatever we are doing. We don’t just aim to maintain what we have but we seek to do things better. 

Excellence is a game of inches so we want to add value and do things better all the time. 

So why don’t we all look for something to improve in our life, our ministry, our church? It may be in terms of processes, practice or posture. We can raise the bar of excellence in our lives and ministry! 

5. Do it with heart 

The first four qualities form the hardware in terms of what we need to do. This last quality deals with who we are. This is the software behind what we do. 

Whatever we do without heart will only come across as cold and clinical. But once we put our hearts into what we do, even the simplest act takes on divine proportions. 

It is not the size of the task but the size of the heart you put into the task that makes it something excellent for God!

Reflection and Discussion

1. What excuses have you made for not pursuing excellence in your ministry and your work?
2. Read Malachi 1:6-14. List all the offences of the priests. What should they have done instead that would have pleased God?
3. “Excellence is not perfectionism.” What, in your opinion, is the difference?

About the author

Pastor Benny Ho

Pastor Benny Ho is the Senior Pastor of Faith Community Church in Perth, Western Australia. He founded Arrows College and Arrows Resources, a teaching ministry to equip and disciple the nations, and is also the Mentor-Leader of a group of D-Net churches.