Center Of Excellence (Acts 2:42-47)

“Yes, we need to create a center of excellence!”

I nodded and sighed. “Yes, that would be wonderful!”

Ordinarily, a conversation like this would excite and encourage me. However, after listening to this pitch for over thirty years from many different levels of management, it rang hollow with false promises and failed execution. A center of excellence implies different things depending upon whether one is in education, business, or healthcare. In this latest instance, I was speaking to a senior vice president of sales and marketing for a major laboratory. He wanted to create a center of excellence for dermatopathology, my medical speciality. In many laboratories, including my own, many esoteric tests are outsourced to third party laboratories, requiring additional time and costs. A center of excellence would have all of the necessary resources to render a comprehensive diagnosis for all skin diseases. There would be a dermatopathologist, like myself, rendering the primary diagnosis. There would be specialized testing, including molecular genetic testing, to augment the diagnostic report. There would also be additional consultants for areas like genetics, hematology, and pediatric diseases. The patient and referring physician would both greatly benefit by the reduced turnaround time and lowered overall costs. 

It is a wonderful concept but for the decades that I have practiced dermatopathology, this is all it has remained, a concept. There are other laboratories that have successfully implemented this model but to my dismay, it has never been replicated in my geographic location. It is a combination of political infighting, competing financial interests, and lack of committed leadership that has resulted in one roadblock after another. 

Is there a spiritual center of excellence? Is there a place where all our spiritual needs can be centralized, where everyone can benefit? Once again, the Bible gives us the answer. 

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. 

Acts 2:42-47 (NLT)

This was the first Church. It was truly a spiritual center of excellence. Why? All were believers in Jesus Christ, empowered by His Holy Spirit. All of their spiritual and material needs were provided by the first Church. This first Church is still our Church. We, as believers in Jesus Christ, can be a part of this center of excellence. Unlike creating a center of excellence in business or in medicine, we don’t have to wait for management or investors to make the decision for us. We can embrace what God has given us-the Body of Jesus Christ. 

Amen!

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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