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Excellence and Prayer Cover #excellence #prayer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been posting about walking in a ministry of excellence.  There’s another benefit to the walk of excellence that’s not so readily apparent.  This begins when your spirit of excellence starts to become evident to those around you.

Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.  And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.  Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
II Corinthians 9:13-15

As other believers notice that you’re walking in the excellent grace of God, you’ll start to receive the prayer support that you’ve only dreamed of.  This is especially important for those in leadership positions.

Church leaders need to be constantly covered in prayer by those they minister to.  It’s the lack of prayer that contributes to the many who “fall out” of leadership positions every year.

I believe that one of the main reasons that church people aren’t coming together to pray is that most of them don’t see a ministry of excellence worthy of their prayer time.  Those churches that are in the “excellent” category never seem to be without the prayer support that’s so necessary in bringing about the victory.

It’s that spirit of excellence that they see in you that will draw them to “buy into the vision” that God has given you.  It will not happen with a man-sized vision.  They will only throw their support whole-heartedly behind a vision that obviously only God can perform.

The above verse states that first it’s their hearts that respond to the grace they see working in you and your ministry.  Then, after their hearts are affected, their prayers will follow.

So often I have seen leaders and Pastors trying to cajole their people to come together to pray.  That seems to be the big question most churches wrestle with.  Why don’t the people pray?  If they know that it will be business as usual whether they pray or not, then why bother?

This verse makes it clear that nothing less than a spirit of excellence can ignite a spark of heartfelt prayer.  There will be no need to force the people by using the guilt tactics that I see so many pastors wielding today.  On the contrary, people will desire to pray for God to accomplish His will in the ministry.

We need to go after God’s vision for our lives then pursue it with all our hearts.  This will encourage others to become involved and will start the spiritual “snowball” rolling.

Question: How often do you pray for your spiritual leaders?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on August 2, 2013 in Prayer, Spirit of Excellence

 

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Your Ministry of Excellence #excellenceinministry

TrophyIn my last post I talked about deciding to walk in excellence.  It’s never too late with God.

I looked at God’s promise of restoration to the nation of Israel.  But what about our ministry under the New Covenant?  Does God expect us to walk in a spirit of excellence?

If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!  For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.  And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
II Corinthians 3:9-12

The two verses we looked at in the last post were from that former ministry that condemned men.  The glory that God exhibited back then was indeed glorious.  But Paul says in verse 10 that we are now living in the day when God wants to exhibit His excellent glory.

When I think about the glory He showed in the Old Testament, I wonder how it could be any better.  He ordained a place of worship that was lined in gold.  Even the utensils used in its service were mostly of gold and silver.  The priests themselves were lavishly dressed – the high priest having precious stones on his garment.

But wait a minute.  Remember, that excellence is not about things, but about spirit.  It’s based on who you are.  Do you excel beyond the normal and the expected?  This is different for everyone.

In some places it might mean a large building and the latest technology.  In other places around the world, however, excellence might mean a building with a roof that doesn’t leak.  I’ve found that in some cultures, just starting a meeting on time is a mark of the spirit of excellence.  Remember that it’s not the “what” of the ministry that makes it excellent, it is the “why.”

The preceding verse goes so far as to say that your boldness will be based on the excellence that your ministry exhibits.  If you’re content with an “I’ll just get by” spirit, then it will show in your lack of boldness.  But one who has learned to step out and believe God for that which is excellent, will be just as willing to believe Him in other areas of his life.

It’s only those who are bold for Christ who are willing to go beyond the normal church routine and enter the realm of the excellent.  There are many that desire to be average, simply because they don’t want to attract attention.  This is just the opposite of what God wants.

He’s looking for a people who will allow Him to shine through them.  That should be our desire as well.  Then the world will see and be attracted to the excellent glory of God revealed in us.  Oh, that the Church would rise up in excellence and boldness, that the world might once again be turned upside down for the glory of God!

Question: How does excellence and boldness play a role in your life and ministry?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Spirit of Excellence

 

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Do you have a Spirit of Excellence?

SpeedFinally, brothers…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

Excellence.  It’s a word we hear all the time in the church.  Everyone talks about wanting an excellent ministry.  Sad to say, most of it is just talk.  We need to strive for excellence.

What is a spirit of excellence?  I’ve found that many Christians have no clue.  If you can’t define it, then you have no basis upon which to judge yourself.

To excel is defined as to do or be better than; to surpass; to show superiority; to surpass others.  Some synonyms of this word are to surpass, exceed, transcend, and outdo.  These verbs mean to be or to go beyond a limit or standard.

It should be very obvious by now that this word excel is a word of comparison.  You only use it when you’re relating to the norm, the average, or the expected.

Excellence, therefore, means that you’re going beyond what’s expected or what others are doing.  We tend to get caught up in what people do or how they do it.  Excellence is more than that.

It’s something you are.  You’re either ahead of the pack or you’re not.  There’s no partly excellent, halfway excellent or almost excellent.  You’re either living in the realm of the excellent or you’re not.

A word with a similar root is accelerate.  To accelerate means that you’re in a state of continually increasing speed.  Your speed now is higher than that of a moment ago.

When purchasing a new car, one of the considerations is how well it accelerates.  Acceleration is important when passing another car on the highway.  In the same way, on the highway of life, if you intend to surpass the normal or that which is expected, then you need the power of excellence operating in your life and ministry.

We know how a great car should act.  When we pull out into another lane to pass the car in front of us, we expect an immediate response when we step on the “accelerator.”  If the car hesitates, if the engine sputters and coughs, then we know there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

In the same way, if the Lord speaks to your heart to do something above and beyond what you’re doing now, or what’s expected for your type of ministry, He expects immediate agreement to His Word.

Hesitation in ministry is a sign that we lack excellence.  When God instructs you to “pull out and pass” the normal or the expected, He’s looking for obedience.  Responses such as “We’ve never done it that way before,” “No one else does it like that,” or “I can’t possibly handle that” are indications that you must move on to new levels of excellence.

That’s why He’s given us His Holy Spirit.  He’ll work with us, bringing us to new heights in Christ, but only if we’re willing to submit to His leadership.  You must desire this walk of excellence.

Question: Do you desire a walk of excellence with Christ?

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Encouragement, Spirit of Excellence

 

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