The Hinge

Over the last two weeks at SoulQuest, we discovered a powerful leadership principle. In fact, it is so powerful that I believe it can either hinder growth and momentum, or can create exponential growth and momentum. It's a simple principle that most people would agree with, but a much more difficult principle to put into place and practice consistently. It applies not only in the church context, but in any organizational context where growth, momentum, and excellence are valued. It goes something like this:

Progress hinges on a commitment to excellence AND evaluation.

If your church or organization values excellence, but doesn't have a system for evaluation, your excellence won't be excellent. If your church or organization values evaluation, but doesn't strive for excellence, your evaluation will be pointless and discouraging.

Last week we had the worst Sunday since I've been at SoulQuest. Now, to put this into focus, it was a great day. We just really, really value excellence. So, when something happens that doesn't reflect that value of excellence, we evaluate why. In fact, if you're a part of SoulQuest and were at church last week you may not even know that it was a "bad" Sunday. 

This week, on the other hand, was the best Sunday since I've been at SoulQuest. It was a great day in all aspects. I believe this past Sunday was built on the back of the Sunday before.

The best days of your church or organization are built on the worst days of your church or organization.  

The difference between last week and this week was not our commitment to excellence. The difference was our commitment to evaluation. If you can't look at a bad situation and ask how can we make this better, then the next time the bad situation happens, it'll be an average, normal situation. It's simply the law of diminishing return.

If you don't evaluate your excellence, you won't know when it stops being excellent. 

You can say you're committed to excellence all day long, but until you start evaluating your excellence, it won't really be excellent. You can also say you're committed to evaluation all day long, but until you start asking the hard questions and taking the responsibility for a lack of excellence, your evaluation will be useless. 

When we begin to look at our churches and organizations with excellence AND evaluation, progress comes naturally. You can't truly have one without the other. 

Progress hinges on a commitment to excellence AND evaluation.