When the Commission Becomes the Competition

Someone asked me why our church puts such effort into revitalizing and replanting other churches in our community. It does create extra work, without a doubt. It also takes away great members to invest so that other churches in our city will thrive.

Imagine someone asking your pastor to lead a mission team to another country. While the team was there, they would do numerous tasks:

  1. Train pastors so they can preach and lead more effectively
  2. Build or renovate buildings for the churches to gather
  3. Lead outreaches to children in the community
  4. Assist them in neighborhood evangelism
  5. Encourage those in ministry that are weary

Would your pastor be excited to multiply his influence with other pastors? You better believe he would.

Would your church be eager to help this church advance its mission in its community? Without a doubt.

Even when you return home, the team will never forget that a church is stronger on the other side of the world because of your investment. It’s doing more now because of your influence, even if you aren’t there anymore.

Why are we eager to strengthen churches around the world but hesitant to do it in our own cities?

The task is the same. Are there struggling church plants or dying existing congregations in your city that need help? Of course, they are. And what type of things do they need? They need pastoral training, facility updates, community outreaches, neighborhood evangelism, and ministry encouragement. Could your church do that? You could, and you should.

The American church sees helping foreign works as commission and strengthening local churches as competition.

We must do better. The Great Commission has no different tiers for global and local efforts. If making disciples is our play over there, it must be over here as well.

If you would rejoice at the thought of a body of believers advancing the gospel in their community due to your investment, as long as it doesn’t endanger your church membership, we’ve got a serious problem.

Most churches would jump at the opportunity to invest in a struggling church around the world but not down the road. Why? We think it is commission over there but competition over here.

The way I look at my city is that there are more than enough people for all of our churches to reach. If every church around me had seven full services on a Sunday, there would still be people in our city without a seat.

Churches – we are not in competition with one another but in commission with one another.

Work diligently to strengthen your church so that you can consider how to help others as well.

When the commission becomes the competition, all of our churches are in danger. We must consider how to strengthen those churches down the road as eagerly as we would for those around the world.