Excellence is a good reason to buy new gear, but I don't think you need that as an excuse. The whole "excellence in worship" thing is overblown. Bruce Springsteen uses $500 Takamine acoustics on stage, so nothing says it can't work for us.
It comes down to preference, and if you enjoy playing a certain instrument and can afford it, go for it! Life is too short!
I REALLY like what you said here, Daniel. Some very good points. Thanks!
It's fun to see us try to justify our purchases. As I mentioned above, there are pros that use lesser gear. I might buy something that is pure practicality like a new omni-directional mic (on the wish list). But then I buy nice guitars when I could buy less expensive ones and get by just fine. So what? I like the nice ones and enjoy playing them.
If it's a durability issue, I can guarantee that a MIM Strat is as durable as a USA Strat.
Hey, no need to over think this! Get good gear! You will enjoy it more yourself and it may just sound better or last longer!