Pursuing Excellence in Ministry: What Motivates You?

In our society, excellence is something that people constantly strive for…but what is their motivation? Most of the time the motivation behind ‘being the best’ is selfish: pride, greed, the need for approval, and vanity are some of the few ways these motives manifest. In business, finances, fashion, and entertainment, people are plagued with that desire to be the richest, have the most material possessions, and look the best. Over the last few years, the Lord has been teaching me what it means to pursue excellence in ministry.
As musicians, as worship leaders, as preachers, or as anyone serving in any way the body of Christ; it’s important to steward what the Lord has given you. Not taking His gifts lightly, but pursuing excellence.

As much as God honors our acts of excellence, He is also searching our hearts “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

A couple of years ago, I dropped everything and moved 8 hours away from my family because the Lord was calling me to be a part of a ministry. In my mind, I was expecting to go there and immediately get plugged in, be on the worship team, and establish myself there. I had no idea that God was going to take me through such a process. I went to that ministry and began to volunteer and serve wherever I could, which started with cleaning bathrooms. I scrubbed those toilets the best I could. I swept the floors, cleaned the windows, all while waiting to be noticed for my talents and gifts. After several months had gone by, I was getting discouraged and asking “why?” all the time. I didn’t understand why I was still in the same place that I had been when I first moved there. No one had noticed me; it felt like no one saw the potential in me. During all of this, I remember the moment the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I was in the process. I hadn’t realized that the Lord had me in this place of hiding, but in this place, He was taking me through a journey of growth, purification of my heart, and of maturing. At that moment, I knew that I had a choice to make. I could complain and become bitter because I wasn’t being acknowledged, or I could let God establish character and humility in me and pursue excellence because He’s worthy of it even if no earthly man ever notices. So I made a decision…I was going to press into the Jesus, practice music, and know that the Lord saw what I did in secret.

Through that season:
He purified my motivation. 
He established identity in me. 
He gave me a heart of worship. 
He used the process to refine my heart.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24

Today, I am very passionate about excellence in ministry, but it’s no longer about me. It’s about Him.

So now ask yourself: What’s the motivation behind pursuing excellence?

It’s easy to say, “I pursue excellence to give glory to God”. But why? I encourage you to ask Him to search your heart and motivations. Through the process of Him searching my heart, I have realized what the one thing is that makes our motives different than the worlds…love. God is love. Everything He does is motivated and fueled by His passionate love. If love does not motivate my pursuit of excellence, then it is just self-righteousness.

Everything we do has to come from a relationship with the Father:
Without relationship, there is no love;
Where there’s no love, there are selfish motives;
and with selfish motives, our excellence is in vain.

God is so much more concerned with the state of our hearts than what we look like on the outside. That’s why He will take us through the process. We may feel like no one sees what we’re doing, but He is eagerly looking at our hearts. Our love for Jesus should motivate us to excel. Our love for Him should cause us to live our lives with a standard of excellence to bring Him all the honor and glory.

Seek the Lord. Steward your gifts. Pursue excellence.
Excellence in the natural will bring the supernatural.

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” -Colossians 3:17

Kendall Hodge

Kendall Hodge

Kendall is an intricate part of the FIRE worship team, under the leadership of Tammy Shay, she is one of the main band leaders. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a 2nd-year student at FIRE School of Ministry. She is skilled and versatile on many instruments and has a passion for seeing musicians live a life of excellence on and off the stage.
Kendall Hodge

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