Not every person is going to be a rock star in his or her chosen field, but I meet too many people who are satisfied with being average. I can tell they are content with average because they do nothing to grow. They refuse to read a book or attend a conference that might stretch them and help them grow. They do the minimum that is required of them. They live average lives, have an average career, and reach the end of their lives and wonder why they never accomplished more than they did.
John Maxwell addresses this kind of thinking in his book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential. I've mentioned before how important this book is for leaders. I'm currently re-reading it for the third time and continue to find new thoughts that I missed the first two times I read it. In the book Maxwell quotes from an article written by Edmund Gaudet who described average this way:
"Average" is what the failures claim to be when their family and friends ask them why they are not more successful.
"Average" is the top of the bottom, the best of the worst, the bottom of the top, the worst of the best. Which of these are you?
"Average" means being run-of-the-mill, mediocre, insignificant, and also-ran, a nonentity.
Being "average" is the lazy person's cop-out; it's lacking the guts to take a stand in life; it's living by default.
Being "average" is to take up space for no purpose; to take the trip through life, but never to pay the fare; to return no interest for God's investment in you.
Being "average" is to pass one's life away with time, rather than to pass one's time away with life; it's to kill time, rather than to work it to death.
To be "average" is to be forgotten once you pass from this life. The successful are remembered for their contributions; the failures are remembered because they tried; but the "average," the silent majority, is just forgotten.
To be "average" is to commit the great crime one can against one's self, humanity, and one's God. The saddest epitaph is this: "Here lies Mr. and Mrs. Average - here lies the remains of what might have been, except for their belief that they were only "average."
Most people have been given the ability to rise above average, and to refuse to do so is to deny who God created you to be. The Bible says that we are a royal Priesthood, a chosen people. That doesn't sound average to me. The Bible tells us that every believer in Jesus Christ has been given spiritual gifts that are to be used to minister to others. That doesn't sound average to me either.
No pastor, no Christian, no church should be willing to be average. We are children of the King of Kings. We serve the Lord of Lords. We must now "press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14)." Let each of us refuse to settle for being average but instead let us strive to become the persons God has created us to be and fulfill the purposes he has for our lives. Believe me, that won't be average!