Tough question. The strive for excellence in the right things can give relevancy. But the striving for excellence in the wrong things can make church look too good, too slick, and too polished, which doesn't suit well when being authentic (which the younger culture of today is looking for).
I think Terry is right. IMO the most important area of excellence in any church should be her people, striving to have the heart and attitude of Christ, who is the ultimate example of excellence. Without that, I don't think anything else matters. Relevence is achieved by looking at the world as it is today, and using the talent, gifts, and facilities available within a church to find the most effective way to reach that world with Christ's message. Being authentic is, to coin today's term,just keeping it real. A striving for excellence in equipment, facilities and presentation, which is backed up by people striving for excellence in attitude and heart, creates a church that is both relevent and authentic. They go hand in hand, but it has to start with the people and their attitudes.
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