For the past few weeks, I’ve been captivated by this principle, especially as it relates to kingdom-building connections. As leaders, we have a natural tendency to want to be the best at what we do. Allowing this competitive nature, however, to cultivate a spirit of jealousy or envy can be detrimental.
For years, I’ve heard pastors harbor jealousy about the success of other churches, gossip about the lead pastor, or discredit the work that is being done. Why? Being able to celebrate the successes of others is a sign of mature leadership, and I believe it’s time that we “grow up”.
With that said, here are three steps you can take to stop cultivating a spirit of negativity and competition with others who are doing God’s work and start celebrating their successes:
- Identify when envy arises. The first step is to identify when envy or jealousy arises in our hearts. The quicker we identify the true reasons for our thoughts, the quicker we can change them if they’re insincere or misplaced.
- Encourage them privately. This is an easy opportunity we miss out on all the time. Picture this: Your church has its highest attendance in history. The next day, you receive a DM (that’s “direct message” for you non-Twitterers) from another pastor in the community congratulating you on the day. How encouraging would that be? One of the easiest way to combat that spirit of envy is to genuinely celebrate the successes of others. We all share the same goal, don’t we?
- Praise them publicly. The final step is to take it public. As encouraging as a private word of encouragement can be, public recognition can increase it exponentially. Celebrating publicly will help you build that relationship as well as set an example for others who might have the tendency to react negatively.
Think about how much more effective we could be as a church if we stopped competing against the church next door and started celebrating the Kingdom-building successes others are experiencing.
What other ways can we stop competing and start celebrating the success of others in ministry?