issue 46 pastor newsletter ereed 093023

Issue #46: Discipling People Toward a Kingdom View of other Churches

Feeding & Leading the Sheep

My associate pastor and I were joking recently about how churches, particularly pastors, tend to look at other churches as competition. We would never say that out loud, but some of that attitude lurks in our hearts.

What would happen in our churches, and eventually in our communities, if churches were known as being for each other? What if we went even further and praised other churches, prayed for other churches, and honored the leaders and the work of other churches? It would spill into the hearts and attitudes of our people.

That’s the subject of today’s newsletter.

Not The Competition

Coke and Pepsi compete for the soda market share. Walmart and Target compete for the discount merchandise market share. McDonalds and Wendy’s compete for the fast food market share. Nike and Adidas compete for the shoe market share. The list could go on and on. These competing companies operate in the same industries and fight for the same customer dollars. They see each other as business rivals. It’s cutthroat. They market and advertise against each other. Employees bounce back and forth between companies.

But churches are not like that; at least we’re not supposed to be. Churches have the same mission. We preach the same gospel. We “sell” the same product and have the same goals. Unlike businesses, churches have the same Boss. Every church is serving the Lord Jesus. It is His glory, not our church’s glory, that we seek. When He gets glory from another church, we celebrate. Because our goal is for the honor of the King.

1 Actionable Tip

Remember Who the church belongs to.

We are a part of Jesus’ church. Every congregation that holds to the Scriptures, celebrates baptism and communion, and labors to fulfill the Great Commission belongs to Christ. They are His churches. They are not ours. This idea that our church belongs to us and is something for us to be territorial about or in competition over is out of place. We all play for the same team. Different churches play out their redemptive roles for the King. We shouldn’t bash or belittle them- quite the opposite. We should support them, pray for them, help them, and partner to do more together. Even if we don’t align on ministry methodology, if we hold to first principles, then we can pray God’s blessing and fruit.

How do we put this mindset into action? Pray for other churches in your services. Highlight another pastor in town from your social media page. Invite another pastor to preach at your church. Ask other churches to help you do outreach events. Maybe this kind of thing doesn’t exist in your town. Okay, then lead the way.

In the crazy world we live in, we need more and more churches bearing fruit. We need faithful laborers for the harvest. Be the kind of church that waves the flag of cooperation and unity. If our folks see us leaders living this way, it will shape them to do the same.

Opportunities for Students & College Age Young Adults

Are you helping the students and college-age kids in your church stand firm against the opposition coming at them in the culture? If you’re not actively equipping them on issues of gender and sexuality, you can be sure the culture is. We’re here to help.

Join us October 13-15 at Black Mountain, NC (at Ridgecrest Conference Center). An incredible line of speakers will be teaching students about who they are as image-bearers of God. These foundations will supply students with important understanding of their identity. Plan to bring your students. It’s going to be a fantastic conference.

And we have our Arise Camps for students summer 2024. These resources exist to help keep your students in the fight. Partner with us in helping them fight the good fight of faith in a world that wants to snuff it out.