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December 8th, 2009

by Bobby Gruenewald

10 comments (+ Add)

Worth Revisiting: Excellence/Effectiveness

There are several principles that I seem to revisit when talking with pastors.  A couple of these are the cost/excellence curve and the cost/effectiveness curve. I wrote about those on swerve almost two years ago, but I think it is worth revisiting today.

If I gave you $100,000, could you make your house or apartment excellent?  I imagine that with some careful investments in furniture, paint, etc you could probably do it.  If I then gave you another $500,000, could you make it more excellent?  How about $5 million?  You get the point.

Now, when was it excellent?  After the $100k investment?  The $500k?  Somewhere in-between? Or is it already excellent?

The pursuit of excellence is just that…a pursuit for many and rarely a destination.  In nearly every investment we make (our time, money, etc) we can generally always invest more to make something more excellent.  The big question is “When is the investment enough?”  The good news is that we do have a choice.

Read this post on the cost/excellence and then this one on cost/effectiveness.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  What are some of the things that guide your decision about when enough is enough?

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  1. Dec 8, 2009 at 6:55 am

    Money and more does not = Excellence! In my opinion…it is HEART and WORK that are the key to excellence! The more you have …the harder and more expensive it is to take care of.

    I have lived it!!!! I have personally lived in the “HUGE dream House on the lake…pool, jet skis, boat” and when I was younger on the sleeper sofa in a rented basement (with a pot belly pig out back named buckwheat…I cant make this stuff up)…Here is what I found. The basement was temporary and I could do NOTHING to make it better but my focus was on other things and I was happy. In the “DREAM HOUSE”…I was COMPLETELY MISERABLE!!! Truly, the WORST time in my life. It was all consuming, expensive, overwhelming, depressing, destroying, and lonely…. THANK GOD we got out! There is no “DREAM” in MORE only more head and heart aches and the focus goes In… NOT OUT.

    Be a Blessing with what God has given you. Wow! That was long…oops :)

  2. Dec 8, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I wonder if the Internet hasn’t made “when is enough enough?” decisions even more difficult by distorting our perception of excellence. We can go online at any time and hear the most gifted worship leaders and preachers. We can see the biggest church campuses and best church websites. The best of the best that get the buzz in the blogs, twitter, and conferences. I wonder if a there aren’t a lot of churches on the right half of the cost/excellence curve that are dissatisfied because most of what they see and hear online is even farther to the right.

  3. 3mj
    Dec 8, 2009 at 10:08 am

    This post happened at the right time for me — Christmas is always crazy, and I’m working on a ton of video stuff. I have some projects that I only consider about 70% done, but decided the last 30% of the details (which I could probably invest over 10 hrs in if I really wanted to) will only be noticed by maybe 0.5% of the people that will see the video, and really don’t make a difference in the final product. I called them done, and they were effective.

  4. Dec 8, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Honestly…deadlines. More often than not deadlines dictate for me when enough is enough. But those experiences are added to memory so that the next situation I can begin at a higher level and hopefully finish at a higher level.

  5. Dec 8, 2009 at 11:14 am

    [...] has a great take on excellence vs. effectiveness (No Ratings Yet)  Loading [...]

  6. Dec 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    When we get focused on resourcing ministry more than accomplishing ministry.

  7. Dec 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Like everything else, excellence seems to be a moving target. Relational, engaging, and effective are terms the resonate with my heart. Investing in the right tools for me is like buying time. We don’t spend a lot on fluff or flash. Is the level of expectation in the given culture/campus a significant factor for LC? Is it one system for all situations?

  8. Dec 18, 2009 at 7:02 am

    [...] found a great article on Swerve. It made me think a little bit about how we often understand “excellence” and [...]

  9. Dec 18, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    [...] be scared, they’re short, simple, and just designed to prompt thought. So hit up the introductory article, then check out the Cost vs. Excellence article, and finally read the Cost vs. Effectiveness [...]

  10. Dec 18, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    [...] found a great article on Swerve. It made me think a little bit about how we often understand “excellence” and [...]