Excellence is such an interesting word. In my last post, I talked about being the best versus being your best. I also talked about “secular” excellence being self-focused, while “sacred” is other-focused. I have been thinking about being other-focused, and I think there are a few more points to be made here.
I was talking to Kristin Twilla, the production director at Kensington Community Church and a lifelong friend, about a tradition we used to have at Kensington, which was to park as far away from the building as possible, opening up parking spaces for visitors, or single mothers. At a certain point, it even got to the place where we were parking at the doctor’s office across the street, in order to free up more spaces. In our conversation, she told me that they still do it. I am amazed and proud to have been a part of something filled with that much vision.
This is a different kind of excellence. One that is fully focused on those we are doing this thing for. Many of us look for the closest parking spot, simply because we are the first ones there and can easily justify deserving it.
Don’t get me wrong, just because you park the furthest away doesn’t make you an amazing technical artist. It does make you a person who is exercising the fruits of the spirit, and in my opinion, is the type of thing that is fundamental to becoming a more fully formed Christ-follower. I believe that who we are determines how we go about the task of production. How I define excellence starts with my point of view and how I conduct myself each day.
In some ways, practicing “secular” production is easy. Do the best, move on to the next production. “Sacred” adds a more difficult layer to the equation. Not only do you have to be really good at what you do, but you also have to be humble while you are at it. You have to be looking out for the interests of others. You have to put other’s needs above your own. You have to concern yourself with the whole and not just your area. You have to become like a servant.
As Christ-followers and technical artists in the local church, let’s rise above just being the best at production, and let’s do all that while we serve others.