6 VITAL LESSONS THE YOUTHS CAN LEARN FROM MENSA OTABIL’S SUCCESS STORY
by Nana K
Dedication – To Aaron Richard Eshun, founding member of Hyperactive Ghana who is an ardent follower of Mensa Otabil.
I have never been a member of the ICGC; I am a proud member of the Church of Pentecost, yet I regard Pastor Mensa Otabil as the foremost Christian leader in Ghana. Indeed, he is one of my topmost three living role models in Ghana; who are Sarkodie, Otabil himself and Osei Kwame Despite. And I describe him as, literally and metaphorically, the conscience of our nation; seeking to paint him as Ghana’s spiritual leader par excellence. I also say he is one of very few (if not the only) public figures in Ghana who has never worn a suit and tie, for he has always been in African clothing, making him an afrocentric clergyman. Interestingly, I once attended a conference at the King’s Temple in Takoradi where Dr. Mensa Otabil taught the audience pragmatic approches to success which were all centred on the life of King David. Therefore, I deem it a great honour to present 6 vital lessons the youths can learn from Mensa Otabil’s success story.
(1) Appreciate small beginnings:
Pastor Mensa Otabil founded ICGC on 24th February, 1984 in a small school at Kanda, Accra with only a handful of people. He did not need huge assets like money, vehicles and a church auditorium to establish his church. He believed and appreciated his small beginnings by starting off with whatever little resources he had. And ICGC steadily grew and expanded as time went by.
(2) Be extremely passionate about your potential:
I can easily predict the success, stagnation or failure of any person’s potential by assessing the level of his/her passion. All successful personalities on the international stage like Dr. Otabil have always been extremely passionate about their respective gifts. When Otabil started ICGC many years ago, he had incredible passion for ministry. In fact, he had a greater sense of responsibility as a minister or a Christian leader.
(3) Self-education always beats schooling:
I believe, love and practise self-education while I really hate tertiary schooling, especially in Ghana. Mensa Otabil never got the opportunity to enter the university after completing high school. So he once recounted how he avidly read a variety of priceless books which enabled him to learn faster than if he had been through university. Yes, if you actually want to be mightily successful in life, then you need increasing self-education through a reading culture, experiences etc., and not mere schooling.
(4) Success doesn’t happen overnight; it takes several years of hard work and persistence:
It took Pastor Mensa Otabil more than two decades to establish an internationally oriented ministerial empire. His success in ministry did not happen overnight or in few years after starting ICGC. He had to work hard and persist in the face of sickening challenges. Of course, he needed several years to prove hardened cynics wrong; people who held the misguided notion that they would not attend a church like ICGC which they were older than. And he has actually done that throughout his over thirty years as a pastor.
(5) You really need to be smarter:
It is just not enough to be hard-working; you need to be more smart, particularly when you have competitors. Dr. Otabil realised that the traditional churches in Ghana in the 1980’s were quite orthodox in their operations. So he followed an unorthodox path in ministry by placing a premium on business success, true leadership, prosperity, self-empowerment, and the like. Many people found solace in that unique path because they were probably struggling with their lives.
(6) Be a person of integrity:
Most people know Pastor Mensa Otabil as a very honest Christian leader. He would never compromise his integrity for anything unethical. He once stated that, “My character is the key to my destiny,” that is why he always adheres to moral principles. Though certain people have tried to demonise him all in the name of sheer malice, Otabil is a man of integrity. It stands out a mile. This is a true secret to his greatness, success and prosperity.
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