Many of us understand the importance of excellence. We know that great music, for example, will attract a crowd and that environment will allow people to experience healthy celebration. And while there are undoubtedly those who push this to the extreme—who judge and shame poor performances, who put such pressure on artists and technicians that they are robbed of their joy—in the great majority of instances this balance is well-kept and, more importantly, the orientation of our ambition is well-placed.

When we do anything, and we do it with everything we have, that’s worship. Whenever I empty the tank, squeeze out the rag, and leave myself a quivering smear on the floor, that’s worship. So I exhaust myself in readiness, not only so I’m prepared but also to increase my work capacity. I know if I push myself to the limit now, my limits will continue to expand. This expansion is worship. It’s how God “enlarges my territory.” Great performance is great worship. God enjoys music we have rehearsed, prepared, written, agonized over, and meticulously arranged more than music we just play. Did you catch that? If not, let me repeat it: God likes it better when we try.

Adapted from the upcoming book Then. Now. Next, about the future of the Church. When published, the book will be available at David’s Amazon author page.