We can quickly assent to the fact that all kingdom-minded ministry is truly collaborative and not competitive. Yet, if we are really honest, there is a practical and true competition that people doing ministry in North America are going to feel. And it is real.

How can we think about this competition with clarity? Basically, the sense of competition is always present when people have choices. They have a choice of where to go for church, where to give their money. A church planter has a choice about planting networks. When someone wants to find a vehicle for overseas missions, there are choices. Even within a church, a volunteer has a choice of where to serve.

How should the kingdom-minded leader respond to this sense of competition? 

1) Know how you are uniquely called to make a kingdom difference. The truth is, if you can't quickly do this, you should immediately begin a process to discover and articulate it. If you really can't differentiate your ministry you should seriously consider closing shop and joining the competition. The mantra is "differentiate or die." 

2) Study the strengths of other ministries. When you are clear about your unique role, it will free you to really understand and appreciate what other ministries are doing. It will also help you appreciate and articulate your own distinctives. Most importantly, it will prepare you for the next step.

3) Speak well about the competition. A little secret I learned long ago from great sales people, Christian or not, is that they always talk good about their competition. From Christ's viewpoint, not only should we be always gracious, but we ought to have the integrity  to connect real needs to best solutions. If you have discerned well, you can cultivate a spirit to  support and promote other ministries and not only your own. It is a beautiful thing to live and model leadership with this kind of egoless clarity!

4) Live your call with passion and leave the results up to God. Ultimately it is important not to be distracted by, concerned about, or jealous of the fruitfulness of other ministries. Many leaders are weighed down by such emotions and deceptions. Over the years I have worked on many "levels" pastoring, served in para-church ministries, and started my own. I know first-hand the soul-sickness of comparison and I have had to repent many times! Keep repenting until you have the clarity to pursue your unique contribution with nothing to prove and nothing to loose.
Topics: Date: May 9, 2010 Tags: kingdom-minded leadership / ministry competition