That ye may approve things that are excellent…
I. A CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE-
We Must Rise Above!
Personal integrity and sincere dedication is an absolute necessity for creating and maintaining a culture of excellence. Diligence, pleasantness, and selflessness will be the essential foundation and evident fruit of a culture of excellence.
…whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek,
turn to him the other also.
And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile,
go with him twain. Matthew 5:39-41
A. DILIGENCE- Go the extra mile. Let the most be the least. Rise above the minimal, the mediocre, and the average. Do not ask, “What else do I have to do?” but ask “What else can I do?” Excel, don’t dwell; soar, don’t settle.
B. PLEASANTNESS- Turn the other cheek. Nice is a choice. Rise above the mean, the petty, and the spiteful. Each staff member should be a thermostat always set on “pleasant.”
Nice is happy; mean is miserable. If you’re not kind, you’re the wrong kind. To be high impact we must be low maintenance.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness. Proverbs 3:17
…in her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs 31:26
C. SELFLESSNESS- Give the additional cloke. Rise above your self. William Booth’s motto for the international Salvation Army: Others! Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, said the happiest person he ever met (and he knew and wrote about dozens of actors, authors, millionaires, etc.) was Evangeline Booth, William Booth’s daughter. The secret? Carnegie said she was “the most selfless person” he had ever met. Happiest- Selfless! Hmmm.
II. A CONCENTRATION ON MINISTRY.
We Must Help the Children Rise Above!
We are Joy Ranch, a Christian Home for Children, a Christian Ministry, not the Joy Ranch Institution, or Joy Ranch Juvenile Detention Center, or Joy Ranch Reformatory. We must remember who we are by keeping our concentration on ministry, and by keeping our concentration on ministry we will remember who we are.
And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry
which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. Colossians 4:17
A. FOLLOWERS OF THE MASTER – Jesus said, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men (Matthew 4:19). Following precedes fishing. We must rise above our own pursuits and desires to truly be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Children may not follow our instruction, but they will our example.
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1
B. FOCUSED ON THE MISSION - Our mission is “to provide a welcoming, safe, caring, and Christ-centered environment to provide the spiritual, physical, emotional, and social needs of children and their families in crisis.” We must rise above any diverting or distracting personal agendas, pursuits, and desires.
Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled
about many things: But one thing is needful:
and Mary hath chosen that good part,
which shall not be taken away from her.
Luke 10:41, 42.
C. FAITHFUL IN THE MOMENTS- It is faithfulness in the little things of the fleeting moments- the soft answer, the friendly countenance, the smiling eyes, the understanding ear, the gentle pat, the remembered request, the promised delivery, the thoughtful provision, the timely preparation, the patient response, the reasonable refusal, the consistent consequence, the loving counsel, the extra effort, the special attention, the sacrificed desire, the inconvenient task, the encouraging word, the therapeutic praise, the positive reinforcement, the genuine tear, the spontaneous hug- that makes a lasting difference in the life of a child. We must rise above our temporary irritations, frustrations, and expectations to concentrate on this exciting life changing ministry.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
III. A COMMITMENT TO TEAMWORK.
We Must Help Each Other Rise Above!
We are ministers together, fellow laborers in a worthy vineyard, and duty demands that we do our best to help each other and work together for the common goal of a fruitful harvest.
So then neither is he that planteth any thing,
neither he that watereth;
but God that giveth the increase.
Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one:
and every man shall receive his own reward
according to his own labour.
For we are labourers together with God…
1 Corinthians 3:7-9
A. RELATIONSHIPS- DEVOTED TO PEOPLE. We must rise above to build each other up, not tear each other down. Can we truly love the children if we can’t love each other? How we treat one another will directly affect how well we are able to impact the children. We must be appreciative of the strengths of each others particular gifts, not irritated by each others particular quirks.
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify (build up) another.
B. REGULATIONS- DISCIPLINED BY PURPOSE. We must rise above to embrace accountability based on a common purpose, not paranoia of tattlers or fear of censure. We must build team morale by loving discussion with each other, not cowardly reporting to someone else. We must accept boundaries based on ministry to the children, not the whims of convenience or approval of peers.
Where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
C. RESPONSIBILITIES- DEDICATED TO PRINCIPLE. We must rise above to dependably bear burdens, share loads, overcome obstacles, complete tasks, perform duties, and shoulder responsibility because it is the right thing to do, and because we want to do the right thing. To stay motivated and focused we must see our responsibilities as necessary means to a worthy end, and not an end in themselves. Also, those responsible for the care of children must not mistake convenience for order, irritation for discipline, frustration for concern, loudness for control, or sarcasm for wisdom.
The integrity of the upright shall guide them…
A Culture of Excellence!
A Concentration on Ministry!
A Commitment to Teamwork!