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May 5th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

17 comments (+ Add)

The Almost Ready Event

When launching a new anything, most people want it to be perfect. Opening before it is perfect is often better than waiting for perfection.

One of my friends opened a yogurt store before he had signs, pictures, or decorations. Instead of a cool clock on the wall, he put up a piece of paper with “clock” written on it.

My friend greeted everyone that came in and explained how they were his special guests. The store has taken off—and they still don’t have the clock up.

In church, people love to be in on the ground floor. The sound system doesn’t have to be perfect. All of the walls don’t have to be painted. The carpet might not even be laid.

When launching a new program, it might not need a logo, a room, or an agenda. Sometimes a vision an the right leader may be all you need to start.

If everything is done, people don’t get to contribute to or enjoy the process.

Even if everything is not perfect, God can still work through a mess.

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  1. May 5, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Been reading Shannon O’Dell’s book “Transforming Church in Rural America” and one of the things he stresses is delegation. I can see how this plays into what you have just written today Craig. If everything is done, where is the sense of adventure for people? Where is the ownership? I like what you have to say here about having things absolutely perfect before getting started. I can see how this goes along with your organized chaos thought. I can also see how some would argue about “excellence.” Thoughts? :)

  2. May 5, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Wow… I needed to hear this.

  3. May 5, 2010 at 7:52 am

    It is all about the people because they are the church and they are what make people excited about the church.

    Good post that has made me think about people rather than things.

  4. May 5, 2010 at 8:17 am

    I recently began a women’s ministry at Substance Church in Minneapolis. At first we didn’t have a a name or logo. After 2 months, we now have a Facebook profile and a vision of where it’s going. It has grown from 1 girl the first meeting to 7, and more that are excited to come.

    Thanks for the insights and reiteration of what God can do with an “almost ready” ministry.

  5. May 5, 2010 at 8:49 am

    As someone involved in launching a network here in the Philippines in 2 weeks, this is something that I needed to hear. Thanks Craig.

  6. May 5, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Thanks for the answer Craig. I like the thought of excellence in progress. I reckon in reality it should all be that way.

  7. 8Joe
    May 5, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Timely post. Just finished reading “it” The journey to where I want to lead my church has been frustrating at times because everything wasn’t perfect. That has always been one of my challenges. What has helped me is keeping in mind that having “it” is my first priority. If I have “it” and keep “it” I could still have a piece of paper that says “clock” and still see God bless our church. Thanks for the post, the book and the encouragement. We are excellence in progress!

  8. May 5, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Excellence in Progress, well done! I am a newbie to this forum, have read both It and Christian Atheist, would like to teach an 8 week class on Christian Atheist, is there a work book? If not, is there some “excellence in progress” that would be useful for a teacher to use in a small group (notes or outlines)? I don’t mind pulling this from the book, but sometimes a work book helps clarify the author’s intent. Either way, thanks for using your gifts to bring God glory.

  9. May 5, 2010 at 11:54 am

    The problems that I seem to be running into is how do you know who to bring along? Everyone? Those that share the vision? If they are new do we expect them to know the vision? What about extreme doctrinal differences? How do you decide who is able to work on this new work?

    The reason I ask is because we recently began and God has really blessed us in big ways. We have new people showing up almost every Sunday and most of those who come end up staying. All of this is awesome!!

    However, I ran into a situation recently that has frankly been a bit discouraging. We are not a charasmatic/pentecostal church (not wanting a theological debate please) and a few of the people who were really on board and feeling as though God was blessing us, when they found out we weren’t that, they took off.

    This left a huge hole in our worship team and a few other ministries as well.

    Now I give glory to God for all things because in spite of thise, He is still bringing new people each week and I give Him all the Priase because this can only be of Him.

    But going forward, I have to admit that now I’m a bit gun shy on who to invite to be a part of things unless I have a really good breakdown of where they stand theologically. Which is just not something that I wanted to do in the beginning. But I’m wondering if there is another way around this?

    And Craig, what I wouldn’t give to sit and have a conversation with you about some of this stuff. Just to find out how you have managed through some of these things. I know that isn’t possible, but hey, would be awesome for sure.

    In any case, God bless you guys and all that God is doing with you guys and through you guys.

  10. 11Joe
    May 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Stephen U, I hear your heart. Mark Driscoll once said every healthy church needs a colon! It’s ok when people leave. Just keep that vision white hot. The key is that new people are coming every week. Stay focused on the new people. Stay focused on the vision!

  11. May 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    “Don’t Worry, Be Crappy” — a quote from one of the Orange 2010 breakout sessions. It is better to do SOMETHING imperfectly than to do NOTHING perfectly! So true!

  12. May 5, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I really like this series…I just got caught up on it and really like the idea behind it.

    I especially like the idea of excellence in progress & not pushing for organization immediately, but just walking around in awe!

  13. May 6, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Pastor Craig, thanks for this encouraging post. I have been giving myself excuses on starting my own business. It is long overdue. I have been wanting to start my own business but have been putting it off for a long time. It’s true that you don’t need to have everything to start something… like how you once said, you don’t have to understand everything to believe in something (which you have quoted from Pastor Andy Stanley during week 3 of “Can You See Him?” series,

    Today, I’m going to launch my business and I will be tithing 10% of profits to Wow, can’t believe I’m actually taking that first step to tithe. I believe God is leading me to start this business… and I trust that he will provide. :) I have been looking for a job since March… and I think God is telling to start my own business. I have been trying to follow the rhythms of God… and I think I am in line with Him. I’m getting better at letting the Holy Spirit guide and lead me. :)

    This is an encouraging video also on taking the 1st pre-mature step in starting your business, church, or anything… Threadless: The Do-First Work Ethic (

    Hope you all enjoy the video and find it encouraging as well.


  14. May 7, 2010 at 6:54 am

    We recently built a new building, and while the concrete floors were still bare, we invited our church over for a “construction tour” (that’s what we technically had to call it). The gym floor hadn’t been laid yet, so we gave out hundreds of Sharpie markers and asked people to write 3 things on the concrete: the name of a friend who doesn’t know Christ; a blessing for the church and community; and a Bible verse. It was hugely powerful–people owned it!

  15. May 8, 2010 at 10:05 am

    As mark batterson said in his book primal.. It shouldn’t be READY, SET, GO but just GO then you will be SET and then you will be READY.

  16. May 11, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Great post. Sometimes we get so excited about the great things God has inspired us to do, we want them perfect before we start. I think we have to remember that God is in control of the results. The disciples didn’t wait until the two fishes were sauteed and paired with side dishes before serving the hungry.