Church Competition

Is there any room for churches to compete with each other? Does competition ever result in the improvement of the church? Competition is one of the primary values in a capitalistic society. The idea is that competition between organizations pushes each other foreword and results in better products at lower costs. Is the local church improved under these conditions? Daniel J. Cladis states that, “God in perichoresis portrays to us the unity of God in three persons. There is a flow of affection, love, and unity among the three persons of the one God. Competition is alien within God.”[1]  God does not compete with himself. Do we compete with the guys down the street? Most church growth is considered transfer growth where members of one church begin attending other churches. Is this the primary result of church competition? I think so. Churches are quick to host a bigger and better VBS or sermon series. How often are they competing to out-do each other in outreach? I feel that this is a rare occurrence. Perhaps the heart of church growth is not competitive because this is one area where the Holy Spirit is doing the real work. Does the church down the street make me a better church? In many ways it does. Is the source of this improvement competition? I do not think so. The church down the street is most helpful to me when we collaborate and encourage each other. I think that this should be the modus operandi of the local church today and focus on the mission of God together.

[1] Daniel Cladis. Leading the Team-Based Church. (Kindle Ed. New York: Josey-Bass, 1999.) Loc. 494-495.

Brent ColbyComment