“…the main problem is, it seems like everyone wants to be great, but nobody wants to be good.”

I couldn’t believe I said that out loud as I sat there among 4 or 5 other pastors talking about how to become great leaders.

But I went on….

“There was a day when I was obsessed with becoming great. I watched all the great leaders rise up in the blogosphere, then on FB and Twitter and all the other social platforms. Social Media gave me unlimited access to the greatest spiritual leaders on the planet. And I consumed it. I bought tickets to private events. I spent thousands of dollars on trainings and conferences. I was enamored and wanted to be just like them.

I learned values like “excellence” and “grit” or doing “whatever it takes” and all the other christian lingo you hear from the “GREATS.” I knew I could do it. I could hold down a big stage one day, I could have that corner office, I could get to the 20k+ follower status. I could change the world!! (….in the name of Jesus, of course 😉 )

I even made friends with a few of the greats, exchanged cell phones, drank coffees and cigars.

Then I started noticing a trend among the greats. 

Over time, all the greats started to fall. Alcohol, women, porn, money, luxury, celebrity status, arrogance, pride. I guess greatness got to their heads. Thankfully, I wasn’t as great as them or it probably would have happened to me, too. Their lack of character was exposed by the big stage, while my lack of character was still back stage in the green room excitedly waiting to hang out with greatness.

Greatness exposed them. Greatness hurt them. Greatness was a thorn in their side. And it would have done the same to this little fanboy. There is no way my character could have withstood the test of the same spotlight. 

So a couple of years ago I stopped trying to get “discovered” and started digging into my own character. I decided I didn’t want to be great…

I only want to be good.

I just want to be a plain old, good dude. A good local pastor with a medium sized church that does good in the community. I want to preach good sermons, have good health, and have a good reputation. I want to be a good husband and for my daughter and sons to have a good dad…not a perfect dad, a good one. 

Greatness implies top notch performance, skills, talent, ability, and being the “best.” Goodness is simply an excellence of character. I want goodness to be demonstrated in my life and ministry. 

Psalm 23:6 says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” 

God never called us to greatness, he called us to goodness…from the inside out. Any greatness we achieve without a good heart is empty greatness.  The Bible tells us that the word ‘good’ actually means holy, pure and righteous. So to put it literally, goodness is godliness. And if that’s the case, good is good enough for me. 

That’s why I believe good is greater than great.