When your best is not good enough
Anything worth doing is worth doing to the best of your ability. But what do you do when your best isn’t good enough?
Several years ago around Halloween time we were looking for some places to take our daughter for trick-or-treating. There were lots of churches in the area doing a trunk-or-treat or Fall Festival, so we decided to take her to a few.
As we were driving, we saw a small community church with the Trunk-or-Treat signs out front, so we decided to stop there on our way to where we were going. It was a small church, and we knew it wouldn’t take long to let her play the games, collect her candy, then be on our way.
Being a small church, the parking lot was also small. As far as Trunk-or-Treat, there were not too many trunks, but the games were fun and the people were friendly. Because they did not have many people come through, many trunks were very generous with the candy.
Coming from a ministry background, in addition to enjoying the event, I am always thinking and evaluating. I admire what I see done well as think through areas they could improve. All these thoughts are also within the framework of ‘did they do the best they could.’ In my mind success is based on doing the best you can with what you have. Being a small church they obviously could not compete with a large church event, but that does not mean they shouldn’t do anything.
And to be honest, they did a good job……. With most of the event that is.
There was a small table giving out tickets. One of the tickets was for a ‘show’ or a ‘program’. I am assuming the program was some sort of gospel message. We never made it to the show because of the way it was set up.
We were invited into a dark, make-shift tent made up of tarps and plastic garbage bags that were taped together.
Um…. No thanks, I’ll pass.
I didn’t care to let her in, nor did I care to take her in. It wasn’t well done, it didn’t look fun nor inviting. It didn’t look safe.
While most of the event was great, considering the resources they had, this element was not well done. Overall I don’t think they did their best when it came to the total event.
So what happens when you have the best intentions, and you try, but your best isn’t good enough?
Like I said earlier, I like to think of success as doing your best with what you have. That means the scale is similar no matter what size your church is or what your resources are.
So, taking that into consideration what do you do?
Make sure to get a second opinion
Run your ideas by your team, or committee, or friend or pastor. Share your vision with someone else to see if the end product will be successful. Usually you can accomplish your vision and purpose no matter what your resources. One year at a small church in the country we did a Fall Festival. The church had never had an event like that before. We didn’t have much money, and it was before the days of sourcing ideas from Facebook or Pinterest.
What did we do? We built or hand made a bunch of carnival games and set up stations throughout the church. The entire church became a low budget carnival. We did the best we could, and it made a quality event on a small budget. Doing something well does not mean you have to have a bunch of money.
We also had a team involved, so the ideas and vision were shared, and the team came together to accomplish the goal—to provide a safe fun place for families on Halloween.
Sometime success means you don’t do everything you planned.
If they would have stopped short of the scary looking plastic tent, things would have been better (in my opinion that is). They had a building, so the show could have taken place inside. It isn’t like they didn’t have any other options.
I’ve always been of the mindset that whatever you do, you should do it well. That sometimes means eliminating things that take up time and/or resources so you can spend that time/resources making other things better. Doing fewer things, but doing them better is better than doing lots of mediocre things.
If your best is not good enough, then consider eliminating something so you can concentrate on making something else the best you can.
What do you think? Am I being to critical of the plastic tent idea? What does it look like to do your best?