Last Thursday I listened to Rick Warren speak at Seeds Conference. It is a creative conference annually hosted by Church On The Move pastored by Willie George.
Rick Warren spoke to three things as leaders we need to do:
- Never stop learning.
- Never compare ourselves to others.
- Never give up.
Today, I want to focus on comparing ourselves to others. On more than one occasion, I have been guilty of comparing myself, my church, and children’s ministry to others. It is a trap, I believe we fall in far too often. I will share a couple of quick thoughts from Rick Warren and comment.
If you are not yourself, who will be you?
God made each of us unique with a specific purpose. Just think about the fact that you are one of seven billion people on Earth. The purpose God has for you is amazing and is one in seven billion! The giftings you have are different than mine, this is something we need to celebrate! Rick said “we will always find someone doing better than us, this can discourage us, and someone doing worse than us, that can cause us to fill up with pride.” Comparing ourselves to others makes us lose focus of the main thing God has for us. I am not saying, completely shut yourself off when attending another church or conference like Seeds. If anything I am saying look around at what everyone else is doing with an expectation to learn!
Learn from everybody, especially effective leaders.
This is important when it comes to the trap of comparison. If we are constantly looking at others as competition, we will not be able to look at others methods as an opportunity to learn. The churches, leaders, and people around us are valuable. We must remind ourselves they are unique as well and have different experiences that can help us to grow and further the plan God has for us. If we do this we can avoid hiccups along our journey. Rick Warren said he does not have time to make mistakes and prefers learning from the experience of others. Personally, I agree as we can save a lot of time, pain, and energy by learning from those around us.
Whether you are volunteering or on staff at a church of 50, 500, or 5,000 do not let the comparison game grab hold of you. God called you to be an original, not a copy. When you are true to what God has spoke to you results will follow and you will flourish.
By: Lance McKinnon