Transforming Good Enough Into Great.
Greater Things You Will Do! Jesus was nearing the end of his earthly ministry, and the disciples were becoming increasingly anxious. In a world without their Master in his familiar, physical form, Jesus assured them, “You will do even Greater Things,” than what you have seen, and if you need anything at all, “Ask me.” Have faith. See John 14:12-14.
After graduating from high school, and before I went to Bible college, I worked as an electronics apprentice at the Naval Surface Weapons Center in Maryland. As a civilian, the Navy sent me to college and also trained me in electronics, computer design, took courses at the Rochester Eastman School of Music in sound recording engineering, and other tech-related areas. I really enjoyed the challenge and in my own small way, I knew I was making a difference. I didn’t understand, then, when some of my coworkers remarked when finishing projects, “Good enough for government work.” This low quality threshold made the goal of good enough, good enough. Just O.K. But good enough wasn’t good enough, I soon realized on one special day.
Our shop designed, built, and shipped devices to the 6th Fleet that was deployed on the other side of the world. Initial feedback indicated the products were successful. But while the equipment met the specifications and was good enough under the initially expected conditions, when the Fleet was redeployed to a new destination the equipment failed. When the context changed, good enough was no longer good enough. (PHOTO: postcard caption: The U. S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory, White Oak, Maryland, is a major Research and Development Laboratory for the Navy. It is located 12 miles north of Washington DC in suburban Maryland. This postcard was printed by the Laboratory Employees Association and is made available through their courtesy.)
While good is better than bad, good is never better than great. Isaiah 12:5 invites us to ‘Sing to the Lord, For He has done excellent things; great things known in all the earth.” God doesn’t settle for good. Our Easter proclamation, “He is risen!” reminds us that God always exceeds our expectations! That’s what Jesus wanted the disciples to focus on as they looked to the future. They can be driven by fear. Uncertainty is a a constant. Doubt creeps into our minds and spirits from time to time. And yes, we can just get by with good enough. We can settle and do good things. But the Resurrection Way of Life means that Easter’s “He is risen!” Power is true every day because the tomb remains empty… Jesus is still risen, and coming again!
What our communities need now more than ever is to experience the Greatest Story of all time in new authentic, relevant, and compelling ways that they can connect with. Grow in their faith. Stretch their spirits. God designed us to be excellent in our praise, and in our ministry and mission, too. That’s why we encourage one another to give our best, to serve, love, forgive, lead, listen, learn, and grow so that what we offer is continually improved moving forward. It takes work. It especially takes faith. And commitment. But what God has called us to do as Resurrection People is exceptional! Our worship, teaching, service, activities, and events should improve each time they are experienced. Our session, deacons, staff, and I are committed to the Greater Things Jesus spoke of an Easter made possible. We will experiment and try new things. Learn from what works, and from what doesn’t work. Good enough is not good enough! We are transforming when our ministry does not settle for what was good enough in the past, because new people, new challenges, new contexts compel us to greater ministry together. Like what I learned about the Navy’s 6th Fleet, we must prepare to exceed our expectations because our context is always changing.
As we discovered on our Lenten journey to Holy Week and Easter, God is doing great things in our midst. We are praising God with excellence, adapting, growing, working together to be our very best as we serve our communities. Greater spiritual energy. Greater involvement. Greater giving. Greater outreach. We are doing greater things because we have opened up to God’s emerging future. Thank you for all you do. Pray. Support. Volunteer. Lead. Serve. Everyone can be an essential part of God’s transforming work.
I am grateful to God for everyone who is growing, learning, and trying new, great, things. And for those who are being added! Would you consider joining the energy that engages the Easter Spirit all year long at Cold Spring Church? We are on a mission rom God! For 305 years, we continue to praise God with excellent praise and ministry, because for his followers serving the Master Jesus, good enough is never good enough!