HIGHER THINKING BLOG
5 Steps to Kingdom-Focused Excellence Wesley K. Willmer, Ph.D.
Today I have outlined 5 steps to kingdom-focused excellence. I am often asked, “How do you measure excellence in a Christ-centered ministry?” This list is in response to that question and will ensure you are leading your ministry down the right path.
1. Determine that your ministry’s mandate is to produce disciples of Christ.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matt. 28:19a)
This step brings focus to a kingdom-minded ministry’s purpose and provides a measurable target, winning the world for Christ. The commitment measures the corporate culture that is desired: growing godly employees; pursuing faithful administration; measuring success by eternal fruitfulness; and pursuing generosity of gifts, goods and the gospel.
2. Grow and create a culture of people who have “Put on the new self.”
“ . . . and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:24)
The values and actions of the people who work for an organization make up the culture that drives the mission. “Put(ting) on the new self” will be characterized by those people serving in unity as the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12–31). In humility, as believers we are to look to one another’s and the ministry’s interests. (Phil. 2:3–5). Similarly, ministry leaders should act as sowers rather than reapers (Eccl. 11:6, 1 Cor. 3:1–9, Mark 4:1–20), supporting and encouraging employees (Acts 15). An excellent ministry invests in its people and their God-given abilities.
3. Become Characterized by faithful administration.
“Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace.” (1 Pet. 4:10a)
In God’s eyes, excellence is faithfulness and obedience to God’s Word: “This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ . . . . Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (I Cor. 4:1a-2). A ministry that is faithful is more concerned with who it is in Christ than with what it does (Gal. 5:22–23). The members spend concerted time in God’s Word and earnestly practice prayer (Acts 6:4).
4. Measure Excellence as eternal fruitfulness in deed and word.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself . . . encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thess. 2:16a–17)
Romans 12:2b reminds us: “. . . be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” A result of this is being eternal kingdom-focused, producing the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23). Part of measuring fruitfulness is to hire people who live in obedience to God and his Word. These people realize the Holy Spirit generates the fruit.
5. Encourage Biblically pursued generosity in gifts, goods, and the gospel.
“Fan into flame the gift of God.” (2 Tim. 1:6b)
A ministry’s actions around raising resources will seek a desired outcome to grow givers who have hearts rich toward God (Luke 12:21), are generous and give from a transformed heart (2 Cor. 8:1–5). The ministry avoids outcome measurements of solely seeking to raise money, and it sets funding goals as God provides resources. When completed, this five-step process achieves excellence and results in producing followers of Christ.
Wes Willmer is the principal at Wes Willmer Group, LLC. Willmer is a seasoned and effective, nationally recognized leader for his research, publications, speaking, and strategic executive leadership, he is dedicated to serving non-profits so they can thrive. Wilmer brings his resource development expertise to CLA as he serves on the Christian Leadership Alliance Advisory Council. This post is an excerpt from the Fall 2015 edition of Outcomes Magazine.
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Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.