Andrew Hopper: Does Excellence Grow The Church? 


Excellence is something that be can hard to define. You know it when you see it. It is the “it” factor. What does it look like in our ministry context? Excellence means the website and social media stay totally current, the band doesn’t need music stands, every event has sufficient signage, having full kids ministry at every service without exception, and the pastor staying within his allotted time to preach. Those are just a few examples. Excellence is sharpness. It is an extreme commitment to detail. It is in the inches. But does excellence grow the church? 

A commitment to excellence is only helpful if what fuels it is a devoted dependence on God. It is God’s church, and He grows it. We should work hard as unto the Lord but always remember that:

While excellence should describe our ministry, it does not grow our ministry.  

Psalm 127:1 is a passage that our team goes back to time and time again; it is the Lord who builds the church. The book of Acts is clear that while the apostles labored to make the gospel known, it was the Lord who added to their number.

The values of an organization are the traits and beliefs that make it what it is.

At Mercy Hill, the values for our staff team are communicated in tensions because any value in isolation can be destructive. That is certainly true when it comes to excellence and dependence. Every value needs a counterpart. Without a counterpart, any value can be destructive.

At Mercy Hill, we want our facilities to be clean and presentable every single weekend. But that doesn’t grow the church. We want our tech teams to nail every transition, but that doesn’t grow the church either. The church is His, and the growth is His alone. Let us be committed to excellence for his glory and dependent upon him for whatever results he brings. 


Andrew Hopper serves as the lead pastor of Mercy Hill Church in the Triad region of NC. He attended North Greenville University where he met and was married to his wife, Anna, in 2005. They now have three children and are looking forward to adopting in the coming years. Andrew spent five years on staff at the Summit Church under his friend and mentor JD Greear. Andrew’s desire to plant a church came directly from the Summit’s vision to plant 1000 churches in a generation. Andrew carries that DNA and champions it at Mercy Hill.