When I began reading Mark Sanborn‘s latest book, the Encore Effect, I realized his concepts are a perfect fit with the values of The High Calling. Mark addresses the idea of performance, and how we as Christians should strive for remarkable performance in all aspects of our lives.
I asked his publicist if I could send him a few interview questions. Here are some of his thoughts below. I encourage you to check his book out.
Why is it so important that we as Christians care about our performance?
C.S. Lewis said, “It is a Christian duty, as you know, for everyone to be as happy as he can.”
As Christians we often have problems with the word “performance.” The word sounds dangerously like “works” and we know that we are saved by grace, not by works.
Does God want us to be remarkable? And does he approve of “remarkable performance”?
I believe the answer to both questions is a resounding yes and here’s why:
- God is remarkable. Jesus was fully human and fully God and he came to show us what we could be if we truly followed him. In 1 Timothy 4 Paul admonishes us to “train” ourselves to be holy. Being more like Jesus means being remarkable in how we do our work and live our lives.
- Our performances glorify God. Paul says we are to eat and drink in such a way to glorify God; how much more should the important work of our lives as spouses, parents, employers and employees glorify Him? Consider the words of Matt. 5:16. We are admonished to let our lives shine in such a way that our good works—our remarkable performances—glorify God.
- We are blessed to be a blessing. Rick Warren says our goal as Christians should be to bring a smile to God’s face. One of the best ways to do that is by sharing our blessings with others. When we are of remarkable service to others, we are blessing them.
- It shows our gratitude for what God has done for us. We don’t perform remarkably to earn God’s favor, but to express our appreciation for it. When we contemplate all He has done for us, our hearts should respond with gratitude expressed by our lives. Devotion to God should always be the primary reason for not only our personal and professional performances, but for everything we do.
- It inspires others by demonstrating the work of God in our lives. We can’t talk about the difference Jesus has made in our lives with credibility if we don’t demonstrate that difference. And the difference He makes should be remarkable.
- It creates curiosity. It makes others wonder about the source of our commitment, passion and excellence and opens doors for conversation about the remarkable Source we draw from.
- It fulfills our potential as co-creators. God doesn’t “need” us but he “wants” us. The bible says we were created in advance to do good works, and that God invites us to be co-creators with him.
- The pursuit of the remarkable grows us. Striving to be remarkable stretches us. One sign of spiritual health in a Christian is that he or she continues to grow. By striving to do better (to glorify God, not self), we become better.
How did you come to this understanding that we can’t separate our “spiritual lives” from the rest of our lives?
Someone asked me which of the keys to remarkable performance was most important and I responded by asking which of the vital organs was most remarkable the point being that all the vital organs work together to create health. Eliminate one and you die. Even if I weren’t a Christian, I would have to recognize that if I remove the spiritual dimension of my life I wouldn’t be a whole or complete person; ignoring or denying the spiritual dimension of life–and the void that creates–is the strongest proof of its existence.
How do we remain focused on a right view of caring about performance rather than getting caught up in performing for men (or even in a works-based theology)?
Christianity is about how to be, not just what to do. The biggest warning sign that we’ve become overly concerned with performance is a disconnect between the “being” and the “doing.” If we aren’t becoming more Christ like and growing in our relationship with him and others, that is a clear indicator that we’ve gotten caught up in works.
Here’s the basic information from the media release:
Everyone wants to make a difference in the world, but most have no idea how to maximize their impact. In The Encore Effect, best-selling author and leadership expert Mark Sanborn provides the answer. He leads readers in six practices that will move them beyond excellence to distinction and from mundane to memorable. These principles guide readers to draw on their passion and devote themselves to preparation, practice, presentation, polishing, and finally, avoiding pitfalls. When readers follow these principles they will find that people are attracted to them. More importantly, they’ll find that they now have an influence over others that can impact lives for eternity.
By following the six principles of The Encore Effect, readers can:
- Deliver a remarkable performance in everything they do
- Elevate the performance of the people they lead and influence
- Extend and deepen the impact they have on others—even for eternity.
Mark Sanborn is the best-selling author of The Fred Factor and You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader. An internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, Sanborn is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio for leadership development. Having served as president of two national organizations, he regularly keynotes meetings in the United States and abroad—speaking on leadership, team building, customer service, and mastering change. He and his family live near Denver, Colorado.