The Internet creates tremendous opportunities to love and serve people, share Christ, and advance the Kingdom. But the effectiveness of our efforts to do ministry online is often less a result of what we do and more a result of why and how we do it. And in the chaotic environment of the Internet, it can be difficult to maintain the integrity of our intentions and efforts. And in this season of decreased giving and shrinking budgets, it is often all ministries can do to keep from being overwhelmed by the infinite choices of where to engage online. Often, it seems, it’s all we can do just to get by.
But is just getting by good enough? Go back to the first sentence, “The Internet creates tremendous opportunities to love and serve people, share Christ, and advance the Kingdom.” The things that we as Christians are about are important: loving and serving people; sharing Christ; advancing the Kingdom – we are in the business of salvation. Lives are at stake.
The opportunities created by the Internet must be seen as what they really are: opportunities to glorify God and to participate in his redeeming work. And when understood in this light, we are compelled to pursue these opportunities wholeheartedly. And, most importantly, we must strive to do so in a way that lives up to (to the best of our abilities) a standard that God has prescribed for us.
We believe that that standard can only be described as a standard of Excellence. We believe that Excellence online is tantamount to our calling as Christians.
We see in Scripture that Paul often encourages a standard of excellence. In Titus 3:5-8 he identifies that an implication of our salvation and justification in Christ is an aspiration to “things that are excellent”, namely to devote ourselves to a way of behaving that can be considered “good”.
“…He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” (NIV, emphasis mine.)
In Philippians 4:8-9 Paul encourages us not only to set our minds on excellent things but to endeavor to put them into practice. Excellence should be our motivate and our modus operandi.
“8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (NIV, emphasis mine.)
As we’ll see in other posts, there are many reasons why excellence is important for ministries online, but at the core of them all is the truth that God has called us to be excellent. All of the benefits that excellence can create for ministries flow out of this truth.
We’d love to hear what you think about this: what do you believe God has called us to with respect to excellence?