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Excellence has the power to encourage—and demoralize.

“Sanctioned incompetence demoralizes.” John Maxwell

Stop and think about that for a minute.

Sanctioned incompetence demoralizes! 

» ”But I lead volunteers … I can’t demand excellence.”

  • Yes, in fact, you can.

»”Well I can’t ‘fire’ a volunteer.”

  • Yes, in fact, you can.

» ”They serve on Sunday after working all week. I can’t expect them to be part of consistent training.”

  • Yes, in fact, you can.

Not only can you expect and pursue excellence in your ministry … but it’s also your responsibility to expect and pursue excellence. 

It’s my responsibility, as the leader of my ministry, to set the standard for the vision God has placed before me. Hopefully that God-given vision is worthy of excellence. Allowing someone to continue to serve who is completely incompetent is one of the quickest ways to demoralize a team—volunteer or paid—and undermine the pursuit of ministry excellence.

Of course, as the leader it’s my job first and foremost to equip my team—it could be that the person is incompetent because of my lack of investment. I need to lead with grace, to encourage and resource my team, and to train and equip. But, at the end of the day, if there is someone on my team who is just not cutting it (for any reason—attitude, lack of skill, distraction, etc.) and who is simply incompetent, it’s my job to deal with it.

When I don’t, it amounts to “sanctioned incompetence,” and you can bet the rest of my team will notice.  

Greg Baird

Greg Baird

Greg Baird is a Children’s Ministry veteran with over 20 years ministry experience. Greg has had the privilege of serving in four San Diego area churches, including under the leadership of both John Maxwell and David Jeremiah. He continues to fulfill his life calling through the ministry of, offering an experienced voice in equipping and connecting Children’s Ministry leaders around the country and around the world.

Greg on ChurchLeaders   Greg's Website

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