Stephen Altrogge wrote an excellent blog post on striving for excellence in the church:
When it comes to doing church we can tend to gravitate toward one of two extremes. The first is the over the top, “everything must be awesome” extreme. The band should sound like as much like U2 as possible, and the worship leader should have that “I’m cool, but I’m not trying to look cool” look. Worship should feel similar to a rock concert, except, of course, we’re singing to Jesus. The lobby should feel like a fair-trade, organic only coffee shop, and the children’s ministry should resemble Chuck E. Cheese. If all these things coalesce at the same time it’s quite possible that the Third Great Awakening could take place.
The other extreme is the “it’s all about the heart”, don’t try to manufacture God’s presence, extreme. The worship band sounds like a steel pipe being put through a wood chipper? It doesn’t matter, it’s all about the heart. The children’s classrooms smell like vomit, playdough, and goldfish crackers? So what? The sanctuary is dingy, cold, and drafty, and the coffee served in the lobby tastes like peat moss? It doesn’t matter, because we try to attract people through the things that really matter, like preaching, and the gospel.
Neither one of these extremes is right.
Read the rest here.