FOUR REASONS "GOOD ENOUGH" IS BETTER THAN PERFECTION
Videographer and You Tube sensation Casey Neistat (more than 10 million subscribers!) puts it this way: “Don’t let perfection get in the way of good enough. Story is always king. Four good enough shots that tell the story are better than the perfect shot that misses the story.”
Sample a few of Neistat’s viral videos, and you’ll see stories you want to watch, most of them recorded on a cheap camera or a smartphone. His approach sends a message to anyone trying to penetrate our culture with the gospel today.
Good enough is good enough? This may seem a little counter-intuitive. But the fact is that pursuing perfection can paralyze church leaders, in at least four different ways.
1. TRYING FOR PERFECT CAN KEEP YOU FROM SETTLING FOR EXCELLENT.
It’s not that your sermons shouldn’t be better, your youth ministry more effective, your evangelism strategies more successful. Of course, we can always do better, and we should always try. Just remember, that word always is the key. You’ll always see ways you could have told the story better. Keep evaluating, all while you keep sharing the story. The gospel is the perfect part, and God has always seen it shared by inadequate people telling it with imperfect methods. Concentrate on the story more than the externals.
2. TRYING FOR PERFECT CAN STOP YOU FROM PRODUCING TODAY.
Neistat advises YouTube wannabes to post something new every day. Do that for enough days and your technique will surely improve as your impact inevitably grows. Along the way you’ll give the world some videos with obvious, maybe even embarrassing, shortcomings. That’s OK, because improvement, not perfection, is the goal.
For preachers, that means keep preaching, and the sermons will get better. Keep calling, and the number of new converts will increase. Keep leading those staff meetings, and some of them will make your co-ministers more productive. Keep trying the ministry task you enjoy least, and good work will get done as a result of your imperfect efforts. Keep praying, and eventually—sometimes after a long time—you’ll see remarkable answers.
Tell the story today, even if you think you’d do it better tomorrow. The message is too urgent to wait.
3. TRYING FOR PERFECT CAN GIVE YOUR CRITICS TOO MUCH INFLUENCE.
I know so many pastors who have put on themselves expectations that no one could live up to. I know so many pastors constantly repeating, “If our church only had the [fill in the blank] that [fill in the blank] church has, then we’d really thrive.” I know so many pastors who can’t get past their focus on their own faults and failures. I know too many pastors who give their critics too much power over their ability to serve with joy.
I heard Bob Russell say, “Your noise is directly proportional to your size.” He explained that for some reason he thought criticism of his ministry would slack off when his church got to about 10,000. When that didn’t happen, he realized about 10 percent of a church’s attendance is made up of people who will criticize. So when the church reached the 10,000 mark, he had a thousand critics instead of the few hundred in earlier years.
If you’re striving to have a church with perfect harmony and unchallenged unity, eventually you’ll give up in frustration. If you believe you and your leaders will always make the right decisions, you’ll become defensive when someone shows you how you have not. If your goal is perfect leadership, you’re in danger of developing a self-righteous façade to protect yourself from admitting your blunders.
4. TRYING FOR PERFECT CAN DAMAGE YOUR SOUL.
Maybe you, like too many leaders, beat yourself up with self-doubt because of your own weaknesses. You forget you are everybody. Every leader lacks something. No leader is perfect. Your imperfections don’t make you a nobody. They affirm that you’re just like everybody else.
You’re a flawed and failing sinner whose only hope for a smile from God is through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. That’s your story. That’s THE story. When it dominates your thinking and drives your motives and directs your decisions, you’re ready to share the story with others.
Your attempts to do so will never be perfect. And that’s OK. It’s the story, not your perfect presentation, that will always matter most.
How about you? Do you struggle with perfectionism? Which of the above do you struggle with the most? What would you add? Your answer doesn't have to be perfect...just honest.