Back when I started a church back in 1999, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snap Chat were all non-existent! A couple years into the church we were running 200 in attendance...and I thought we must be the fastest growing church plant in the world! Back then, breaking the “two hundred barrier” within a couple years was a fairly remarkable endeavor!
These days, however, thanks to social media, we can always find a church that’s building it bigger, better, and faster than we are! It’s easy to read the status updates on Sunday afternoon, and suddenly what happened at our church pales in comparison to everyone else!
Soon we begin to think that the crowd we saw at our church is not all that great. We begin to think that our creativity isn’t actually all that creative. We begin to be less impressed with what God is doing at our church. We begin to get down on our worship, our teaching, our facilities, our location, etc. Why? Because we have compared what God is doing at our church to what God is doing at someone else’s church. Simply put, our church pales in comparison! Be careful. Comparison, especially in ministry is a dangerous trap!
We can be tempted to become critical of other leaders and their ministries when God seems to be blessing their ministry differently in comparison to ours. We to think to ourselves, “Well, if their ministry is growing at that rate, they must be watering down the Gospel.” One of the funniest tweets I’ve ever read came from my friend Tony Morgan, of the Unstuck Group, who once tweeted: “I’m in a jammed and crowded Mexican restaurant. I wonder if anyone will accuse them of watering down the salsa.” We might be tempted to criticize other pastors whose churches have had bigger crowds than ours. We are all tempted to question the motives, intentions, and methods of other ministries. Jealousy breeds condemnation. Too many of us condemn other leaders simply because we’re insecure in our own skin.
Sure we should love our church more than anyone else’s church, or we should go to their church! However, we need to be careful that we don’t look down on other expressions of church or what God is doing in other places. Also, celebrate God’s activity, but be careful not to allow pride to slip in. What we post on Social media should be preceded by “Why do I feel the need to share this?” Celebrate life change, but let’s be careful about boasting to all of our "friends" about our huge crowds and our “packed house.” Let’s be careful what we boast about, celebrate the successes of other ministries and cheer on those that might have had an Easter that did not meet expectations! "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord" (2 Corinthians 10:17).
Let's celebrate Jesus and Jesus alone! HE deserves ALL our praise!