Us versus Who?

23Sep07

I’ve been reflecting lately on the idea of competition.  Particularly in the arena of church planting.  In the modern marketplace we have enshrined the act of competing.  It is what fuels our economy – from dish soap to cars to sports to education.  Unfortunately it is what also seems to fuel our ecclesial life.  I wonder if perhaps the impetus to birth new churches is too often found in what we don’t like or disagree with another church.  I know that when I begin to think of what this emerging community of faith will be like I find that my internal dialog is us versus them (“them” being this church or that).  I find that when I start trying to describe what this new church plant I default in how we won’t be like ________ or we will be like _______ in this way or that.  This, I do not like. 

It is not that I am anti-competition.  Far from it.  I enjoy sport and the motivation to excell.  I actually think there is a place for competition in the body of Christ – just not between the body of Christ!  My goal is to describe who and what we are in ways that are not divisive – for the Body.  So we may be communal versus individualistic (or endeavoring to be so), but not because we’re better than another church.  No, I want my internal dialog to focus on how we are different from the destructive, fragmented, broken, lost, dying world.  Wasn’t it Paul who said something about not being against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities?  I don’t mind competition – as long as who I’m competing against is not on the same team.

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