Desire to do one’s best in all circumstances is a powerful motivator. Recently, I attended a ministry conference which drew hundreds of people from around the globe to a small host church, and saw first-hand how desire influences performance. The conference was awesome, but equally impressive in its own way was how the local congregation served the attendees. As one who looks at service organizations with a knowing eye, I was taken by the quality and professionalism of the facilities “staff.” By staff I mean volunteers who gave their entire week to supporting the event. The services required to produce the conference will be familiar to facility managers: Audio-visual support, food service, security and personal protection, coordinating outside vendors, registrations, custodial services, and event management were all in play; and these non-professional FM’ers did it all with competence, confidence, and grace.

As I flew home I began to recall scenes I witnessed during the week. The restrooms were pristine every time I went in and yet I never saw anyone cleaning them. Security staff were visible and focused, but not intrusive. When one attendee fell there was a quick and professional response to provide immediate medical attention and care. On-site food service was basic but well done. Parking was well managed in a challenging environment. In short, everything seemed to run perfectly. Three hundred guests, all day for six days and evenings, requiring all the basic services, and not a single cross word or missed service opportunity that I could tell.

I had to ask myself if other service groups I’ve observed could have pulled it off as well as this group did, and what was it that enabled these volunteers to produce such a high-quality event? I concluded that it was because their heart was in it. This wasn’t a job for them, it was an act of service and they came to it with servant hearts motivated by desire.

The attitude we approach our work with is everything. Few will ever have all the resources they need, and one-off events and projects will sometimes exceed what surge capacity we have. But that does not mean we cannot excel in our roles. These folks were not part of a professional organization, but they had pride in their work and a desire to contribute to an important endeavor, which enabled them to perform at a high level.

Pride in our effort, quality in our service, and a deep desire to help others succeed and benefit. That sounds like a good formula for success, and it is.