Being Mediocre Isn’t Good EnoughDiscussion
It seems that for most of my life I have been in a leadership position: the oldest of a very large family, a leader during my military career, and twenty plus years of management experience in the world of business -- not to mention roles within my local church ranging from Elder and Deacon to Teacher and Director of Discipleship Training. I’ve learned through all these years that as a leader, you’ll find that the team you are leading will change from time to time, as people move in and out. You also learn that a good leader learns to bring the best out of the people that he’s responsible for, and that really good leaders can do this with almost everyone placed under their command…except for one kind of person -- the mediocre person who has little desire to do more than the minimum required.
People with few talents, low aptitude, or a bad working environment but a strong desire to succeed will do so when paired with a good leader. And of course, multi-talented well-motivated people will become exceptional performers under good leadership, but it has been my experience that those who become comfortable with meeting the minimums -- who hold up mediocrity as the norm -- are the people who can drag an entire team’s performance down. Yes, for me, mediocre performers are the ones that I try to get off the team quickly; and, personally, I have a difficult time acknowledging their existence on the team at all.
I’ve been blessed with teams, like the team I have today in my secular job, who find empowerment within the team to go beyond their own expectations and become extremely exceptional performers. They "raise the bar" within any organization and accelerate success at rates of speed unthought-of by the "average" organization. As I write this today, I wonder if it isn’t also time for Christians to "raise the bar".
Has the "big C" church become content with the "average", with doing the "minimum", with simply meeting the standard? Do we really think Christ wants us to be mediocre? Is it okay to just get by as followers of Christ? Can we honestly say that we can’t do more because we lack talent, opportunity, or resources? NO! A Thousand Times NO! If we accept that premise, we don’t really know the God of the Universe, and we don’t really understand our responsibilities as citizens of His Kingdom.
1 Corinthians 10:31 instructs us, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." My prayer this week is that this time in our country’s history will cause each of us to examine ourselves and to ask the question "Am I giving my all? Am I doing all that I can do for the Kingdom of God?" It’s time for Christians around the world to raise the bar -- to have the faith that moves mountains and the deeds to prove it.
As we thank God this week for all that He has given us, let’s also thank Him for the honor and blessing He gives us each day to serve Him.
November 30, 2008