“this church is so behind the times”
“is the worship leader really wearing a tie?”
“organ and piano music…ugh”
“they don’t have enough lights”
“we do this so much better…our worship leader is night and day better”
Chances are if you’ve worked, volunteered, or attended enough church services, conferences, or events you’ve heard, said, or witnessed some of these statements. This is the problem of comparison within the church.
Comparison within church communities signify a few key problems. These are big issues that church leaders need to work through and help staff and volunteers develop resistance towards. If you’re facing an issue like this within your church community, it’s time to address it head on; it’s time to rise up and lead.
3 Big Issues with the Problem of Comparison
1. Signifies a focus on self instead of God.
I’ve been there as I’m sure you have as well. Comparing yourself, your church, or your relationship with God against other believers, churches, etc. Christ said we need to die to self, take up our cross and follow Him. There’s nothing about comparing your life to others. This extends beyond just self. I see it all the time; churches “marketing” against one another. Showcasing their baptisms and salvations as a score card; showcasing their technology as a means of having the best church. Comparison doesn’t lead people towards Christ, but towards tension and dissent.
2. Enables people to hide behind their own shortcomings or sin.
“I thought if everyone was pointing at them than they wouldn’t be staring at me.” We compare and pass judgement because we’re insecure about what shortcomings we have personally. If you’re constantly pointing out other people’s flaws, then there is a great chance that you are hiding behind personal issues and sins that you don’t want others to see.
3. Puts emphasis on finances/resources instead of outreach/missions
“If there is one area that so many churches struggle with, it’s finances. Giving fluctuates in different seasons. The economy is constantly changing. Attendance is never consistent. So, why do we put such an emphasis on finances/resources versus what we can do with those resources we have.
So, how do we overcome the problem of comparison?
It all starts with leadership.
Are you leading well in the area of comparison? Does the leadership in your church hint at issues of comparison or strive for opportunities to work with other congregations?
As a leader, you have a unique opportunity to take those you lead on a journey to great things. Whether you have a full staff or lead a small group of volunteers, your impact goes beyond those people. Your attitude will effect each person you lead.
Finally, pray. Spend time as a team and pray through the problem of comparison. Learn about what other churches in your area are working on and pray that they will reach people for Christ. Remember, they have an opportunity to reach people that your church doesn’t and that is huge!