Before this activity, write "X" on one slip of paper. Add this slip to a bowl containing enough blank slips of paper for all participants to have one. Gather three clear glasses full of water, a spoon, and spoonful of dirt, and a few dead insects. To begin the activity, say, "One of you has chosen a slip of paper with an X on it. Here is your assignment: You represent a congregant or a potential congregant." Line up the three glasses of water and say, "Here are three glasses of water. In one, I'll put just a little bit of dirt, not much, not enough to hurt you." Stir in a teaspoon of soil into the water, then say, "In this glass, I'll put a couple of small bugs; they are minute compared to the amount of water in the glass." Drop in a dead insect, then say, "Now, the person representing a current or potential churchgoer has to drink from one of these glasses." Unless the person is a joker, he or she will choose the clean water. Use this analogy to show how people choose among competing alternatives. Church leaders often excuse their flaws or missteps by saying, "Our church is just a little flawed. We make so few mistakes compared to everything we do right. People won't see the mistakes, and if they do, they'll overlook them. We can get away with it."

source: LeadingIdeas: To-the-Point Training for Christian Leaders tags: Excellence, Perfectionism, Choices, Ministry