The Comparison Trap
Have you ever felt yourself getting discouraged because a church was reaching more people than your church? Have you ever felt like the church down the street that was growing was not as good as the church you are leading? Have you ever wondered why God isn’t using you to reach more people? I have! If you have ever had thoughts like that keep reading.
As a pastor I want to be kingdom minded. I don’t want to compete with other pastors. I try hard not to put down other churches. I work hard at celebrating other churches wins! We are all on the same team.
At the same time it’s difficult for me not to compare. There are times where I see a church blowing up with new guests and I truly celebrate with them. There are other times I think, “Really?”
There is a church plant in my area that has just hit their one year mark. They are now the same size in attendance as the church I planted seven years ago. I don’t feel insecure about the size of my church. We are reaching people. We are doing good work in the community. We are working hard to be the best we can be. I don’t feel insecure about the size of my church until I meet with a church planter who doesn’t have a fat clue what he’s doing and the attendance matches my church.
When insecurity hits it can be difficult to deal with. You may try to bury it deep down so you don’t have to deal with it. Or maybe you quickly find flaws in the other church to lessen the sting. Often in comparison our insecurity can lead to attacking those who have success. That’s not healthy!Often in comparison our insecurity can lead to attacking those who have success. That's not healthy! Click To Tweet
So what can we do to fight against comparison? That’s a great question. Thanks for asking.
3 Ways To Fight Against Comparison
- Focus on your effort and not your results. The truth is there are times we have all put in minimal effort and God still blessed us with great results. It may not be the norm and it’s definitely not a healthy practice, but it has happened. I’ve mailed in a sermon only to see God bless it. I’m not proud of that, but it’s happened. When you start to compare you are typically looking at results. Instead of looking at results look at effort. Specifically meet with those who have experienced success in a different area than you and ask what they are doing. There are always things we can learn. One of the things I learned from meeting with younger pastors (I’m 40) is the power of social media to invite. One church in my area has experienced great growth by using YouTube. That’s an area I had never thought to tap into. He is experiencing results because he is putting effort into a different area.
- Celebrate when others succeed. Comparison is the thief of joy. When I am tempted to compare I replace the temptation with celebration. Celebrating others success helps remind me that we are all on the same team. A church in my area baptized the amount of people we had in attendance on a Sunday. That’s phenomenal. I celebrated with our church. That’s a huge win. Sure I’d love to experience that at the church I lead, and the truth is I can. When we celebrate others it expands the kingdom and helps us not become bitter.
- Focus on becoming great at something. With church we often compare with other churches that are similar or feel like we compete with churches that are different. When you focus on becoming the best God has created you to be you don’t have time to compare. Another church may have better lights, more money to pay staff, or a nicer facility, but you have something God can and will use. Become great at that and watch what God will do. Instead of comparing what another church is doing button down on what you can do. Become the best you. Figure out why people come to your church. Is it the preaching, music, kids program, or something else. If you don’t know spend time learning this. Once you learn it work at becoming even better at it.
Ministry is difficult. I hope you know you are not alone. At ChurchBOOM we want to make ministry easier. I know when I’m alone it is easier to compare. The greatest thing for my personal leadership and growth has been having a ministry coach. To learn more or to sign up for one click here.