I am currently prepping a message on Passion, Momentum and Enthusiasm. I remember when I was a young leader at Citipointe Church in Brisbane in 2001, I came across a set of videos of TD Jakes Preaching a series called Church on Fire. The context was that he was speaking in his church to Pastors and Leaders. It was predominately on creativity in leadership. The entire series deeply impacted my life, leadership and outlook. In particular the opening lines in one of the Sermons. Thought I would share those few lines with you on my blog. Thanks TD Jakes….your impact on my leadership and life has been immense even just in the four minutes it took you to say these words…
Now the enemy of exceptional is ordinary.
And all you have to do in order to fail to be exceptional, is just be ordinary.
Ordinary people lead ordinary lives. They do ordinary things and they die ordinary deaths. Uneventful, unaltered and unchanged. And they are so boring that they low themselves to sleep and weary those with whom they have to do. Because nobody, hear me good, nobody is interested in following ordinary.
Yet there in is the conflict because within the heart of us there is the tendency to want to fit in.
And if we fit in we neutralise our potential to be exceptional. We need to be accepted and in order to be accepted we need to fit in and if we fit in we are not exceptional and if we are not exceptional than we are ordinary and we wonder why we don’t prosper and grow as leaders.
Who follows ordinary?
Who listens to ordinary?
The press doesn’t even write about ordinary.
People don’t write books about ordinary.
They don’t make movies about ordinary.
They walk past ordinary people and they become anonymous, invisible people. Jesus calls them salt that’s lost its savour. He says if I sprinkle you and you don’t change what I sprinkle you on, you are ineffective. In order to change it, you have to be different enough to alter it. If I sprinkle you on it and the taste is not effected it means you are so ordinary that you made no difference.
And the worst thing about living and dying is to get to the end of your life and to stare death in the face and to think to yourself:- I have made no difference. All of my toiling and labouring and teaching and preaching and praying and perspiring and supporting leaders and supporting leadership or in whatever you are here to do:- whoa be unto you if you don’t make any difference.
There are people in this room who are Pastors and leading churches. There are people in this room who are married to people who are leading churches. And there are people who are supporting people who are leading churches. And each of us have a role to play that is significant and the danger, the most lethal thing that can happen to anybody in this room, is to be ordinary.
Ordinary is your enemy.
Hope that inspires and challenges you as much as it did me those many years ago…..I do not want to be ordinary.