Many churches have set the bar so high striving for ministry excellence that they can’t find volunteers to step up. Some churches have fostered this myth by making “excellence” an idol, which makes people of average talent hesitant to get involved. Many Christians never serve because they fear they aren’t good enough to do so. They believe the lie that serving God is only for superstars.
You may have heard it said before, “If it can’t be done with excellence, don’t do it.” Well, Jesus never said that! The truth is, almost everything we do is done poorly when we first start doing it—that’s how we learn.
In fact, the Bible says, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 NLT). That perfectly describes many churches today.
Some churches hold up such a standard of excellence that they basically say to volunteers, “If you’re not a professional, you don’t need to apply, because we only want the very best.” That creates a congregation of passive spectators.
Yet, our growth at Saddleback has happened because we hold to the ‘good enough’ principle, which allows far more people to get involved. We simplify everything and accept less than perfect performance in order to mobilize more people. It doesn’t have to be perfect for God to use and bless it.
At Saddleback we would rather involve thousands of regular folks in ministry than have a perfect church run by a few elites. We’d like to be a model for other churches, so we aim for average people doing average activities in order to get extraordinary results. That’s how the typical McDonalds succeeds while being staffed by high school students. The system works; it doesn’t require unusual talent.
In fact the ‘good-enough’ principle was the concept behind our P.E.A.C.E. Plan, too: “Ordinary people doing what Jesus did, wherever they are.” If we’re going to defeat the giants of spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease, and rampant illiteracy, it won’t happen by just mobilizing the superstars and experts in those fields. There’s just not enough. We’ve got to mobilize everyone.