The Problem When Churches Compete With One Another

3 min read

The stadium erupts with cheers as the final minutes of the game tick down.

The home team trails the visiting rivals’ score. Then their star running back bursts past the offensive line. But instead of blocking the opposing team, one of the home team’s own players tackles the running back while the last seconds expire.

The visiting rivals didn’t have to do anything. The home team lost the game for themselves because one player decided he didn’t like what the others were doing.

Attacking fellow teammates not only fails logical sense, it causes damage to everybody, including the attacker.

It’s the same with the Church.

What Happens When Christians Compete

To criticize, insult, or gossip about other churches and pastors works against what Jesus started (Matthew 16:18). Rather than trying to build our own congregations, Jesus calls us to build His Church. 

Attracting Christians from other churches while never reaching people far from God is like a farmer moving grain from one silo to another. The farmer may think he’s getting something done, but he’s only wasting energy instead of using it to harvest more crops (Matthew 9:35-38).

An “us versus them” mindset does more to harm the Church than help it (1 Corinthians 3:3-9). The good news that God wants to connect with all people is far too important for us to huddle up like cliques, divided by our preferences (2 Peter 3:9). We are far more united in our purpose than divided by our differences.

Competition vs. Collaboration

Local churches aren’t meant to be competitors or critics, but fellow collaborators for the cause of Jesus. We’re all on the same team. We have the same mission, serve the same God, and follow the same Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:4-5).

We all share the mission of connecting people to Jesus, but the methods of reaching those people is always changeable. Jesus may tell one church to reach a city or state using certain methods, but He may call another church to reach another group of people with a completely different kind of method (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

Our role as a church isn’t to judge other churches based on our opinions but to affirm their obedience. We encourage them to keep listening to Jesus and doing what He says.

 An “us versus them” competition mindset does more to harm the Church than help it.

A win anywhere is a win everywhere. A win for a local church is a win for the global Church. That’s what it means to have a kingdom mentality.

The only way the global Church will grow is if we all work together to reach people far from God and teach them to follow Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20).

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