When Churches Compete (2 of 4)

Our Dangerous Pursuit to Be the Best

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When churches compete, we lose focus . . .

I almost kicked the bucket . . . I almost took a dirt nap . . . I almost crossed the finish line. Seriously, pick your death metaphor of choice. It almost applied to me.  

My Final Destination experience happened in the midst of the mundane. I was trying to find a phone number in the contacts list of my cell phone. And carelessly, I was doing this while driving 45 mph and steering with my knee. When I glanced up, I saw brake lights. 

It took my best NASCAR skid-and-swerve to avoid causing a four-car pileup. When it was all over (2 seconds that seemed like an eternity), I had come to a stop in the median, about 3 feet past the car whose brake lights had nearly become my lunch.  

I lost focus—just for a minute—and it nearly killed me.

church in fogSometimes our churches lose focus as well. We see other local ministries as our competitors and begin to concentrate on them.

We’re not looking for those far from Christ. We’re not looking to serve the poor. We’re not looking to fight injustice. Instead, we’re looking at “the competition.”

It’s a cell-phone-while-driving mishap just waiting to happen.  

Are they stacking their softball team this year? Who did they hire to build their addition? Is their sign cooler than ours? 

Moves are made, professionals are hired and sermons are preached in response to the church down the street. We’ve taken our eyes off the road; we’ve lost our focus.

The focus of a community of believers should always be on Jesus. He is the one who spoke to your founders, He is the one who called your pastor, He is the one who cares for the lost and He is the one who can heal the broken in your community. 

Your church does not exist to keep up with another church. Your church exists to be a light in this world overcome with darkness. That’s where our focus should be—living out the mission Jesus has given us, not beating out the church down the street. 

I hope we all realize that before it’s too late.