When my son Josh was in junior high, he took guitar lessons. He had played bass guitar for three years, but wanted to expand his skills.
Josh has a laid-back personality, which made him a joy to raise. But that relaxed attitude wasn't sitting well with his guitar teacher. This teacher was a professional musician with high standards. Rightly so. He was one of the best, and expected a good effort from his students.
But his style clashed with Josh's personality, and the teacher was often frustrated because Josh hadn't practiced enough to master whatever skill had been taught the week before. Very soon we realized it wasn't the best fit for Josh at that time. Although Josh wanted to play guitar, the truth was he wasn't putting forth much effort.
At one of our last appointments, the teacher spoke with me privately. He knew we were Christians, and he was too. He shared his personal frustration about the Christian youth he had taught:
"Sadly, the people who have most reason to pursue playing with excellence, don't."
I've never forgotten that statement. He was right. I didn't agree with his generalized negative observation - I'd seen plenty of musicians offering their best. My son did have potential and became a wonderful guitar player and worship leader for the youth of our church.
But I agreed with him about Christians having the best reason for pursuing excellence.
As Christians, the Bible tells us that whatever we do, whether it be making dinner, cleaning the bathroom, going to school, or serving in ministry .... whatever we do .... we are to do it as if for the Lord.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)I thought about that teacher because I'm teaching some conference calls on writing to She Speaks graduates. These women are pursuing excellence in their writing. They are investing money and time in the calling God has put on their lives. They are taking hold of the vision God placed on their heart and are going for it. With passion and abandon. I'm so proud of them.
In two weeks, our speaking conference calls begin, and many of those same women have signed up for those. In case you didn't attend She Speaks, or are looking for a way to invest in your own speaking ministry, I also want to share an ongoing service that P31 is offering for speakers. It's called the Next Step Speaker Services. Amy Carroll and Karen Ehman are offering a speaking critique service for an affordable price. They can help you with:
• Message Development
• Message Evaluation
• Creating Compelling Marketing
• Ministry Organization
They just started it a few months ago, and we are all trying to help spread the word. This is a way you can pursue excellence in your call to speak.
Even if you don't want to invest any money right now, visit the Next Step Speaker Services website for informative articles on speaking and a free weekly speaking tip.
What passion has God put on your heart? And how are you pursuing excellence in it?
Feel free to use this blog as a place to declare your intent to offer your best to the One who deserves it.
In His Love,