How Do You Compare With Others Who Make Comparisons?

Tape measure
Do you often compare your church or ministry to others? (Flickr)

When women danced in the street in front of Saul's palace and sang ...

"Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands," Saul became more than a little irritated. His rage effectively ended his relationship with David.

Sometimes our comparisons are simply unhealthy. In business, unhealthy comparisons lead to poor decision making and perhaps bad financial outcomes. In our churches, one of the worse habits we can fall into is comparisons with other churches or ministries.

Which of these comparisons (perhaps not very well-disguised coveting) have you heard among staffers or lay-leaders?

  • Their worship team has ...
  • If we just had an auditorium for youth like they do ...
  • They are up to five services now!
  • Did you see the new TV campaign they are running?
  • Their location really allows them to grow ...

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We speak of contentment in the pulpit, yet it seems comparative thinking would suggest we really don't understand godly focus. As leaders in the work place, it is important to teach that most comparisons do more damage than good.

In 2 Corinthians 10:12, Paul reminds us, "For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves they are without understanding."

Good work flows from a Christ-centered life; it does not produce it.

If you lead others, please consider the following points on comparisons in ministry:

  • Don't compare people with otherspast or present. It's easy to talk about those who no longer work with us in glowing tribute. Current employees can easily take away the comparison as a measurement of performance.
  • Be quick to respond to comparative statements. As Barney Fife would advise, "Nip it, Nip it, Nip it." Leaders set the tone for internal conversations. If your team knows of your low tolerance for comparisons, it will at least reduce the unhealthy chatter. How do you teach children in the home to not compare?
  • State and repeat core strengths. Keep conversations and thoughts focused on what we do have. It's helpful to conduct a spiritual inventory of assets. "Let's talk about everything we are doing well."

Finally, leaders will lead others to maximize their gifts. We have little time to point out flaws. True correction occurs in a Petri dish of good bacteria.

Lead your team to maximize God's gifts.

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.

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Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.


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