Monday Morning Insights

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    Who is your church’s competition?

    Who is your church’s competition?

    Steven Furtick has a great piece today at his blog about who your REAL competition is.

    Is it the church down the street?

    Is it the megachurch across town?

    Is it the online church that the couple that just left your church say they are attending?

    Pastor Steven says "One of the biggest dangers that any church faces when trying to reach people who are far from God is comparing itself to other churches...It’s dangerous because if you want to reach other people for Christ, your competition isn’t other churches. It isn’t a matter of if you have better music than other churches. Better videos than other churches. Even better community than other churches. That’s not your standard of comparison.

    Why?  Because none of the people you are trying to reach are attending the church down the street, the megachurch across town, or even attending the online church in their underwear.

    The people you are trying to reach are at the local coffee shop, reading the newspaper, sleeping in, dealing with a hangover, or doing their Sunday morning shopping at Walmart.

    And the people you're trying to reach aren't comparing your church to every other church in town... chances are they've never been to any other church in town.

    Steven writes:  The point of comparison for lost people are things that lost people see. That lost people listen to. That lost people experience.

    You can read all of Steven's thoughts here.

    So... who do you think is YOUR competition?  And WHY?


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    1. Peter Hamm on Thu, January 06, 2011

      From the story…

      [Some people might think that this is shallow. And yes, it is shallow. But that�s where people are, and we have to meet them there. Or we might meet them nowhere.

      I�d rather be considered shallow and be surrounded by people who have found life in Christ than be considered deep and be alone. Or surrounded only by people who knew Jesus long before they ever knew me. Lost people can�t become deep Christians until they first become Christians period.]

      THIS gets a big AMEN… I don’t care, if I’m reaching people with the Gospel, what other religious people are going to think.

    2. CS on Thu, January 06, 2011

      There’s a couple of problems with his interpretation of, “competition,” and how it applies.  For instance:

      “It�s dangerous because if you want to reach other people for Christ, your competition isn�t other churches.”

      I’ve found that that is often untrue.  When I go walking through neighborhoods to evangelize in my community, for instance, it is often people who go to one of three large churches in my area and call themselves Christians who cannot articulate the Gospel or even say what it takes to become a Christian.  I have to, “compete,” against those churches because they are not producing converts or preaching the Gospel, and the souls of these people are in jeopardy.

      “So for example, when we decorate for Christmas, I don�t want it to be as good or better than other churches in town. I want it to be as good or better than anything they�d see at the best mall in town. Because that is what every person who has never stepped foot inside of a church before is consciously or unconsciously comparing us to.”

      If your goal is to one-up the world in this sort of way, the world is always going to win.  You make your church look like Chuck-E-Cheese, the world pops out with Disneyland.  Instead, we should be sharing Christ outside the doors of the church so that the lost will want to become Christians and then enter in.  (Not to say that we shouldn’t perform excellently as-is.)


    3. sgillesp on Thu, January 06, 2011

      OK, I’ll bite.  What he says is true, *but*...
      if a new church bankrolled by a great big church elsewhere rolls into town and overwhelms what we do with their ability to hire lots more staff and have the coolest stuff…
      it’s true that they will likely reach some folks who wouldn’t like our less-flashy church.
      it’s also likely that they might attract a few more families from OUR midst, making us that much less flashy, etc.
      and reducing the energy and critical mass we have to pursue what we feel the Lord has called us to do.
      In that sense, they show up and undermine us, and they are in that way also my competition.
      But, he’s right that I need to be thinking about the lost, not the big church down the street.  More to the point, I need to be thinking about what the Lord has called us to do, and not so much about what the Lord may have called them to do.

    4. Brian L. on Thu, January 06, 2011


      I agree.  I am on the “pro-megachurch” side of the issue, if that church is actually leading people to Christ and making disciples.

      We have two churches in our area that seem to attract all the “cool” people, and when these people leave their old church, they generally go to one of these two.  I’m fine with that, because I’ve got plenty of lost people around me who need to hear the gospel from me and our gang.

      Sure, it hurts sometimes, but as long as kingdom work is being done, I can live with it.  I love these pastors and I see their hearts for Christ and the lost.

      And I’ve got a job to do regardless of their presence in the community.

    5. Todd on Mon, January 10, 2011

      I have defined our church’s competition as: anything and everything that competes for people’s hearts, minds, will and eternal future in a manner that is contrary from Jesus!  The �Marketplace of Ideas.�  Consumerism.  Rugged individualism.  Humanism.  �Talking Heads.� Other teachings/religions/philosophies.  Etc. . .

    6. David on Tue, January 11, 2011

      I think the church has two competitors, ourselves (because we can be our own worst enemy at times) and Satan. The new church in town is not my competitor, rather our brothers and sisters in this battle against Satan.

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