moving from mediocrity to excellence by 3zJ3AOa




                     PASTOR T.O.BANSO

     “The sad thing is many people who have been with a
company five years do not have five years’ experience. They
have one year’s experience five times and no specific plans for
making next year anything but a repeat performance” (Zig
      I think organizations which ask for years of experience
from applicants have something to learn from the statement
above because     some applicants    with   the   15   years   of
experience for example, may have worked in different
organizations for 15 years without having 15years’ experience.
They may have only 2 years’ experience in all of their 15 years
of working!
     I’m not a scientist but I once read somewhere about the
law of perpetual renewal which according to scientists says
that there is not a cell in our bodies that is more than 12
months old – there is a process of reconstruction taking place
every time – two or three pairs of lungs every year, renewal of
stomach and other organs. It is said that the arterial system,
the brain and the nervous system are renewed every 60 or 90
days, the skin is renewed completely every 5 or 6 weeks, the
bony structure is renewed 11 or 12 months as it takes the
longest period to renew while the eyes are renewed every 6 or
7 months. There is however the proviso that renewal can take a
longer time in a situation where the general health of the body
is not good. Where the cells are cancerous, the mechanisms
regulating cell division break down; cells divide rapidly without
control and ultimately mass into tumors.
     The point I am trying to make from what scientists have
told us is that nothing remains static but everything is being
renewed to continuously provide better services. That is why
all these organs can function effectively well most times
throughout a man’s life.
     Excellence   is   not    about    flawlessness;   it   is   about
continuous improvement. But how can a man’s performance in
an organization be better when he is not improving his
competence and skills? How can he achieve better productivity
when   he   makes      no    serious   commitment      towards    self
improvement? This is the reason for mediocrity that we find in
our society whether in the public or private life. There are
varying degrees of mediocrity everywhere – church, school,
government, public institutions etc.
     I know there is the need for institutional responsibility
towards capacity building but there must be a personal
commitment too. Unless there is personal commitment to self
development, mediocrity will continue to take its toll on us all.
There have been cases where individuals have paid the
required fees to invest in themselves and they are the better
for it today – that is without any financial contribution from
their organizations. No organization can take from you the
skills and competences you have acquired by paying the
required fees to develop yourself. But unfortunately there are
others who never reciprocated their organizations’ good
gesture – they either did not take advantage of capacity
building programmes or did not maximize such trainings.
     Jesus Christ was a master trainer, tutor and mentor. When
you look at the background of all his disciples and what he
turned them to in just a period of three years, it is amazing.
They consisted of fisher men, tax collectors etc and these ones
shook their world; they turned their world upside down. (Acts
17:6) In fact, it was a marvel to their world that though most of
them did not have much education they were able to achieve
so much.
     Every employer and manager of men and resources must
recognize the need for continuous training for increased
productivity. The people themselves must not only make
themselves available for such when organized for them but
must even on their own pursue personal development – a
competent person is a confident person. Better performance
can give you better exposure. David was brought before King
Saul to play harp for him whenever the evil spirit that had
come upon him began to trouble him because he was skilful at
playing this musical instrument. (1Samuel 16:16-21)
     The Church must not place emphasis on the operations of
the Holy Spirit alone (and the HOLY SPIRIT is most important)
but must also give priority attention to practical training for
development of her stewards in every department of church
life. Gone are the days when church is synonymous with
mediocrity. This is not advocating professionalism above the
spontaneity of the Holy Spirit, which has been the pretext for
perpetuating mediocrity. Why did Jesus not send out his
disciples without training them? Why did he spend most of his
time teaching them and not just praying with them? As
important as prayer was, something which Jesus himself
emphasized in his teaching, you can count the number of
times he prayed with his disciples. In fact, they had to ask him
to teach them how to pray. But Jesus did more of training
teaching the disciples including teaching them how to pray.
     The church       must     not    condone   mediocrity.   Church
workers     and    Christians    must     not   tolerate   mediocre
performance in their lives. All of us must move towards self
improvement and better performance everyday; each must set
record for himself and break it himself. There should be no
room for stagnation. Yesterday’s achievements may not be
enough to meet today’s challenges.
     Do you want to live a life of excellence? Let me share with
perpetually at the bottom of the ladder. If you want to climb to
the top in life, you must shun mediocrity and pursue
           I’ m trying my best, God knows. The truth is you can
do better than what you call your best at the moment.
           This is how everybody does it. I’m not the only one.
That is why you are getting the same result they are getting. If
you want to get a better result than what they have, do
something positively different though it may place more
demand on you. You will, all the same, find it more rewarding.
           It is not my fault; I did my own part. He always
transfers     responsibility    for     non-performance.      Accept
responsibility for your life. If you had made it, would you have
given the credit to those you are blaming now? Stop passing
the buck. Don’t behave like Eve and Adam. (Genesis 3:11-13)
           This is the best anybody can do Who told you that?
That is not true - it can be better. Stretch yourself mentally
and physically and you will be surprised at the great
possibilities you have not explored.
           After all I am still better than some people, some
people’s performances are worse than mine; others are not as
good as my own. Stop comparing yourself with others; face
your life. Comparison is not a mark of wisdom but foolishness.
(2 Corinthians 10:12)
           I wish you were in my shoes, you don’t know what I
went through to produce this. But it is still a mediocre
performance. Who cares what you went through if the product
at the end of the day is a disappointment? Everybody wears his
own shoes, they’re your size, wear them!
           This is the way we have always been doing it. That‘s
why you’ve been getting the same poor result. Who says it
can’t be done another way? Rules should be a guide and not
become chains. Rules should be broken if they hinder the
realization of goals; they should not become sacrosanct like
the   Ten    Commandments.      Even   Jesus   in   fulfilling   Ten
Commandments interpreted it in relation to God’s love for
           I was the one doing this thing when we first started,
I built this, I did that but now he has dumped me because I’m
not from his tribe and because he has found new people. Most
times that is not the reason. It’s true that you did all you said
when you started but you have refused to improve over the
years. You can’t keep doing it the way you were doing it 5
years ago.    Your present level of performance was good for
what you were doing five years ago but not today. You have
refused to improve on your performance. You have remained
stagnant while the organization is moving forward. You can
not    hold    the   organization   to   ransom   with   your   past
contributions. You were not the only one that contributed.
Don’t bring in tribal sentiments. If your tribal affiliation did not
work against you then, how do you think it should work
against you now?
       What are the enemies of excellence? The following will
not allow you to pursue excellence in any field of endeavour
either in the kingdom of God or in the secular: - No vision,
ignorance of one’s strength, weakness, role, place and work,
laziness, no mentor – coach, trainer, teacher, Refusal to accept
personal responsibility, no sacrifice – inability to delay
gratification, comparison, indiscipline, pride (it will make you
not teachable and not to accept correction), fear of failure (it
will not permit you to try anything new)
       You must conquer these if you want to excel in life. Not
conquering them will keep you on the same spot in life
marking time; you will become archaic, obsolete and unusable.
       You must ask yourself these vital questions: Where am I
now?          What is my growth plan? Where do I want to get to?
What do I need to get there? How do I get there? When do I
want to get there? Finding correct answers to these questions
will put you on the path towards improving yourself. Do
whatever it is going to cost you to do it, and it will cost you
time, money, discipline etc. but it is more in your own interest
to build your capacity than in the interest of the organization
you may be serving because you add to yourself (and even if it
is the organization that trains you) no one can take it back
from you.
     Those of us who serve in the House of God should train
ourselves for the services we render so that the kingdom of
God can be advanced in our hands. We must exercise ourselves
and practise more. We must pray for God to give us wisdom
just as He gave Bezaleel and the other men He called along
side him to do the work of the tabernacle and those things
inside it. (Exodus 31)
     The church can train you but you can also pay for your
own training in your desire to impact the kingdom of God
positively. If you have the means and the training is relevant,
pay for it, don’t wait for the church; it is service unto the Lord
and he will reward you abundantly. There is nothing wrong in
using what you have now to serve the Lord no matter how
crude it is. You don’t have to wait until you are perfect. God is
not looking for perfect stewards but faithful stewards.
(1 Corinthians 4:2) Make yourself available for Christian service
just as you are but continuously improve yourself as you serve
in the kingdom. Do what you can do now but aim at

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