Excellence Versus Perfection

I was frustrated.  It didn’t matter how much time I spent preparing for the weekend there was always something going wrong.  I would wonder, “When are people going to get it?”

The problem was that I was searching for perfection.  All I found was frustration.  I would wonder, “If perfection is impossible then I shouldn’t worry so much about quality, right?”:

The truth is that I needed to refocus.  I needed to:


Many of us confuse perfection with excellence.  Both are similar after all to be:

Perfect means:

Conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type

Excellent means:

Possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good.

Both definitions similar; however, focusing on each one can completely change the way you lead and manage your ministry.

When you attempt PERFECTION you’ll struggle with:


You compromise the integrity of your program because you want to make everyone happy.  All you do is creating a mediocre experience with little to no impact.


Perfection is impossible, but if that’s all we care about then we won’t stop.  If you ignore rest you’ll only burn yourself out.  Sometimes you need to leave things imperfect to make them better.

Rest gives you the opportunity to gain a fresh perspective and approach problems in a new way.  Perfection never gives you that opportunity.


To achieve your goals and reach your vision takes time.  To grow a successful ministry means learning to embrace failure and humility.

When you attempt EXCELLENCE you’ll find yourself:


The end goal of excellence is improvement.  Perfection is an end point.  When you strive for excellence it means that you are not done growing.  You are constantly looking to improve.

Leaders are learners because they know there is always room to grow in their craft.  Embrace excellence and you’ll always be open to the people, resources and experiences God is giving you.


Excellence means knowing that you can’t do everything.  In order to do some things really well you need to say, “No” to some really good things.

To understand what excellence looks like in your ministry you need to ask the questions:

  • What has God called us to do?
  • What are the resources and limits given to us?
  • What is holding us back from doing only what we can do?

When you focus on a few things you can have a larger impact than when you try to do everything.


Perfection is a selfish pursuit because all that matters is your perception.  Excellence invites other people to the table because you know that you don’t know everything.

You are limited as a leader which means perfection is impossible.  Excellence will welcome other ideas, it will challenge your paradigm and take your ministry to a new level.

To discern perfection versus excellence isn’t always easy.  That’s why you need to constantly ask God for humility.  Involve others in the process and watch your ministry go and grow.

Question:  Where do you struggle with perfection over excellence the most?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.