The Real Competition

I am hopelessly, helplessly, relentlessly competitive.

The easy explanation is that my competitive streak stems from a lifetime of trying to become the number one ranked tennis player for kids my age in Texas. And you don’t do that or get there without beating other players.

But the truer explanation is perhaps more problematic. Like it comes from my insecurity. Or it comes from sin.

Because my competitive nature rears its head now primarily in the area of . . . church. I am forever comparing myself with other pastors and Good Shepherd with other churches. In a real sense, I want us to be better at what we do than “they” are at what they do.

So I begin to see other congregations in the Charlotte area as our competition. If people from our church start attending another church, we’re losing. If people from other churches move here, that’s a win.


In most best moments, as my best “self,” I recognize that other expressions of the Body of Christ are not our competition. They are not the enemy.

The real enemy is active enough: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8).

Perhaps I should spend more time in battle with him than I do in competition with them.