The Pointlessness of Competition…

Posted: February 27, 2015 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Okay, there are times where competition is great. It helps us to hone our skills and improve our game. Sports are awesome because of competition but there are areas where competition is a killer. Two of those areas are what this blog is all about. The arts and the church.

The other night I went with my wife and son to see a kids musical at a local theater. It was quite good. I had’t been to this theater in years and the reason for that was simple. I spent most of my time helping another theater, a competing theater. I got invested there, and fell into an almost us and them mentality that seemed to afflict many in that community. What I saw last night was a group of people helping kids build on their talents, work together and do something great. Pretty much the same mentality that the group I was with had at its best times. I also saw a group that did some thing very differently and came away with some pretty good ideas. Imagine all the learning that could have been if we had collaborated instead of competing.

What were we competing for? Talented actors? No, both groups have to turn some people away from each cast, and they are not the only theaters in town. Audience? No, both groups often sell out their shows. Were they competing for shows? Well maybe, it’s always kind of nice to be first to do a show, but there is no shortage of good material out there. Stylistic and philosophical differences? There are some of them to be sure, but that’s the arts and it can create variety for audiences, exposing them to new and different things. I can’t really think of any good reason for arts groups to compete, especially when helping each other out could benefit everyone.

And it’s the same way for the church. We in the church can get a little to proud and high and mighty, especially when one considers we serve a God who calls us to humility. We can allow competition to divide us, but let’s be honest, for every person in our pews, there’s probably a hundred or a thousand who need to be brought in. We’re on a great mission, but unfortunately we can allow petty differences to divide us, when we should be united in the cause of Christ. Are there stylistic differences and philosophical differences in the Church? Yes and for good reason. Maybe the God who loves us so much created different styles of worship so that more and more people could be reached. If that is the case, then competition between churches is detrimental to the cause of Christ.

We serve a God who called us to love Him first and then to love our neighbors, families, friends and even enemies. Jesus said people will know we belong to Him by the way we treat (love) one another. I think churches need to put competition away and staying on mission, being who God created us to be, and loving like He loves. After all, all competition in the church does is pit us against one another and that can’t be good because according to scripture the whole Church is the body of Christ.

We don’t need compete with each other, we need to love each other.

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