Thursday, February 17, 2011

Partners, or Threat?

Recently I was in a meeting with a little over 20 other pastors and ministry leaders. It was wonderful to see the transparency, love, and support within the group. I reflected on how many times, it seems, however, that churches compete, and leaders feel threatened by other leaders and churches, and how critical leaders can be of other leaders.

I thought back to when I was a platoon leader in the army. I don’t ever remember, on a mission, being resentful or threatened or jealous of another platoon that was on the mission with mine. To the contrary, the more we were, and the better they did, made me and my men safer and more likely to succeed on the mission and at staying alive. It wasn’t my mission, it was the country’s mission and the commander's mission—we were all just partners in bringing it to pass and success.

It struck me that a lot of the way we react to others who work in a similar capacity to ourself depends on whether we see ourself as “king,” or as serving a king. If we see ourself at the top, as number one in our heart and priority, then everyone else working for a same goal as us is a threat. We must guard against them infringing on our territory, or getting bigger or more powerful than us. We are on guard, jealous, self-promoting, bitter. But, if we see ourself as willing servants of a king whom we love and honor, than everyone else working for the same goal as ourself is an asset, a benefit—someone to be grateful for, and to bless, and to rejoice in their success.It is so freeing to serve Someone bigger than yourself!

If the glory of our, and other's, success passes through us and goes to the King we both serve, and if that is our desire and hope, then whether it is us, or them, that brings glory to our King doesn’t matter. It is when glory, or recognition, or achievement is something we want for ourself that we are threatened by another getting it.

I wonder what this nation would be like if every pastor and church leader and denominational leader truly desired the glory of God and the expansion of His Kingdom above all else. I wonder what it would be like if every Christian desired that first and foremost as well, and sought for it in the workplace, the family, the neighborhood, the schools. If our life was not about us, our glory, our success, but about Him, and His glory, and His name—if it didn’t matter if one person every knew our name or what we did, but it only mattered that all that was said, thought, and done brought Him glory.


  1. Eric,

    You really should think about writing a book about all your observations, they are thoughtful and full of considerations for all of us. Your blog has helped me many times to refocus on what really matters. Keep going you are making an impact, I have shared your site with several people and the followers are growing.

    God bless you and your family, Ralph

  2. Thanks, Ralph, for the encouragement. Thanks also to the reader who emailed me on this post with the words, "Well said!" I blesses and encourages me to know God has used me to encourage others in their walk and effort to be a simple follower of Jesus. My hope one day is to put my posts together in some form to give to my girls as a way to share with them the "gems" God has shared with me over the years. As one pastor put it, I want, " ceiling to be their floor!" Please never hesitate to share with me how a post blesses you, or to share things that might bless me or others. May God pour His Spirit over us as we share and live out the good news of the Kingdom!

  3. I love this observation. There are tons of churches working toward the same goal. Recently I have seen God break through the boundaries that are rarely crossed by christians in the same area with different views--whether they be due to age, social status, etc. Erick you have helped me affirm some of the ideas that have been tugging at my heart. Keep up the good work.


Thanks for your comments, I look forward to and value your sharing. Due to a large number of SPAM comments, you will need to enter a word verification before your comment will be sent to me for moderation. Your comment will be visible after I publish it. Erick

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