Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: According to the Department of Labor web site, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the cont


Opening Statement: From time to time we have missionaries in our home. When these times come, the Nelson’s have a decision to make. Either we are going to clean the house and welcome them with excellence or we can just leave it as it is – and that is a frightening thought – and hope for the best in offering an explanation as to why our home is not presentable. Think for a moment. Imagine you’re a missionary and that you come to my home. There’s 2-week-old laundry in the floor. There are dishes with dried spaghetti left on the coffee table. There’s a strange odor coming from the dining room rug that reeks of sour milk. There’s dirt on the floor, jelly covered fingerprints on the refrigerator, and the bathroom hasn’t been cleaned for a week. The bed is unmade. The sheets are dirty. The carpet is stained. And, you can hardly walk through the hallway. How would you feel about coming to my home? Would you think, “Wow, these Nelson’s really pursue excellence. They are winners.” No, you wouldn’t think that at all. You would be more than happy to get out of the place.

Well, needless to say, we don’t approach our hospitality that way. It’s shoddy and speaks of irresponsibility and laziness. The whole Nelson family now knows what a houseguest means at least one day prior to their coming. It’s “Clean up the Nelson House Day” and my kids just love it (how I wish that were true!). But I usually lead the charge and I resort to tactics and methods that I cannot share with you here, to stimulate my workers to get the job done. Why? Because when we clean up our place and remove those distractions and unsightly things from our guests, we serve them with excellence and create a positive place for a great visit to happen.

In fact, just recently, we had Roy and Ethel Nelson in our home. I can’t tell you how many times they said, “Thank you. This is excellent. This is marvelous. Wonderful. A miracle.” To prepare for their coming, we swept the floors, cleaned the leather, dusted the furniture, and hid the dirty clothes. Donnette made stuffed peppers, which Ethel loved because she was raised on a farm. After dinner, we went to Batesville via the slow back roads for ice cream. When we got home, I oriented them to where things were in the rest room and in their bedroom and they crashed for the night. After the service, we took them out to eat and recommended the Ruben sandwich, another one of their favorites, and they so enjoyed it. We finally got them off for their home, and we are just thinking, “Whew, I’m glad that’s over.” Well, about 10 PM on Sunday night, I get a call from Roy. He said, “Joey, I just can’t get over it. It’s a miracle. I just can’t believe it. You all are so nice. Thank you for a wonderful weekend.” Now, I’m not sure about what they have experienced in other people’s home, but I’m thinking, “Man, they must have had some pretty rough experiences.” I’m also thinking, “How could we do anything less than excellence while they are a guest in our home?”

Application: We must demonstrate our love for people by leading and serving them with excellence. I’d like to make an application here to the church. You see, each weekend, we have guest in our church and our regulars who come expecting excellence. We can offer nothing less because it glorifies God. It removes hindrances so they can focus on what is important. This makes a notable impact.

Explanation: I want to underscore the word “excellence” in this message. All of us should strive for excellence in what we do in our personal and church lives. We certainly would not want to create an environment where people waited until they did something only when they could do it perfectly. That kind of professionalism and elitism is not glorifying to God.

Quotation: Charles Swindoll helps us here: “Excellence is a difficult concept to communicate because it can easily be misread as neurotic perfectionism or snooty sophistication. But it is neither. On the contrary, it is the stuff of which greatness is made. It is the difference between just getting by and soaring – that which sets apart the significant from the superficial, the lasting from the temporary.”

Transition: There is nothing wrong with…

Title: Leading and Serving with Excellence – The Core Value of Leadership Excellence

Transition: We must demonstrate our love for people by leading and serving them with excellence. Mediocrity is fast becoming the by-word of our times. Must we wait for someone else to establish our standard or to set our pace? Jesus strove for excellence. Paul was a man of excellence. We should be people of excellence.

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