I enjoy a little friendly competition. The reality is many churches don’t compete on friendly terms. In fact, in a given city or zip code, the likelihood is many pastors do not even know each other. Reasons exist for this lack of connection, and not all of them are malicious. Pastors can get swept into the busyness of their own churches. I’m guilty. It takes effort to manage relationships with other pastors.
With your friends and acquaintances, you tend to hope for the best. With those you don’t know, you tend to default to apathy or distrust. Whether the distance is intentional or not, it can create an unnecessary cloud of suspicion. Then you will either stop caring or start competing. What are some of the warning signs?
Automatically assuming malicious motives. When you don’t know someone, the tendency can be to assign ill motives, even when none are present. Wait . . . they had how many in worship last week? Those numbers can’t be correct.
Bitterness at their success. You tend to celebrate the successes of your friends and lament the achievements of your competition. They rely on gimmicks, not real ministry.
A desire to beat them at their own game. Competing pastors engage in a battle of one-upmanship. We can run that program better than they can. We can perform that worship song with more energy than they can.
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SOURCE: Church Answers, Sam Rainer