When Churches Compete (1 of 4)

Our Dangerous Pursuit to Be the Best

sword fight

When churches compete, people see the worst in us . . .

There are few things more childish than an insecure athlete. Winning assuages his insecurities and, therefore, must be reached at any cost. Translation: He roots for the mishaps of others.  

The mistakes of another takes the attention off of his own mistakes, so he hopes for their demise. (These ill wishes aren’t just reserved for opponents. This athlete also secretly revels in the errors of his teammates.) 

Insecurity is most satisfied by the failures of another. I hope he misses the putt. I hope she double faults. I hope he stays down.

Insecurity. The worst in us. 

citychurchThis practice isn’t limited to athletics. We see it in business, among siblings, in schools, and even among churches. We find pastors who are only secure in their calling if they are the best. And so he (or she) hopes for other churches to fail.  

Everything is internalized and looked at through the filter of insecurity. 

  • If that church has a higher attendance, people might realize that I don’t have all the answers. 
  • If that church has a better idea, people will think I lack creativity. 
  • If that church has a cooler band, people will think I’m old fashioned. 

So we secretly hope other churches have empty parking lots, lame sermon series and bad music.

Insecure churches find satisfaction in the failures of other churches. I hope their ad campaign tanks. I hope they don’t get that building. I hope they stay down. 

Insecurity. The worst in our churches.

I am well acquainted with insecurity because I’ve battled it in my own life. But I’ve come to realize there is power in asking new questions.    

What if your church’s success is my success too? 

  • What if we realize that when one of us wins, we all win? 
  • What if we looked around the huddle and recognized that we’re all wearing the same jersey? 
  • What if we stopped fighting for the MVP trophy and understood that Jesus already earned that one?  

Maybe then we would be a team that people would join. Maybe then we would be the church Jesus called us to be.