August 22, 2016

Perfect Isn’t Good Enough

Last night’s Olympic closing ceremony was a fitting end to two weeks where that saw outstanding performances, unflinching determination, and constant innovation.

One of the brightest stars of this Olympiad was Houston’s own Simone Biles, who amazed audiences as much as she challenged history. And as this NBC Sports story notes, Biles’ feat highlights just how much gymnastics has innovated since doing away with the idea of the “Perfect 10.”

The governing body of gymnastics decided that it was more interested in innovation than it was in perfection, so it changed the scoring system. The new system encourages athletes to try new things, attempt increasingly more difficult moves, and to be creative. In this world, Simone Biles is pushing the envelope and leading the way.

In the church, are we too often unwilling to try new things because we instead are striving for “perfection” in the things we already are doing? Perhaps we should be willing to try out that new idea that we think will be difficult to accomplish. Or start that new ministry that challenges us.

From the NBC article above: “…if the ultimate goal is evolution then you have to give up very notion of perfection because perfection signals an ending, not a beginning. A perfect 10 suggests that a routine cannot ever be topped -- all worlds have been conquered.”

Is there some Perfect 10 expression of liturgy, ministry, outreach, or ??? that we are trying to achieve? We need to do away with that idea altogether. The goal of our ministry cannot be perfection, because perfection is unattainable.

Rather, the focus of our work should be on excellence, creativity, and innovation. Then perhaps we can work to try new and different ways of proclaiming the Gospel to a changing world.

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