I was asked a question last week about how I felt about other churches close to where I live and serve.
A little bit of background, there are two very large churches within twenty miles of my church. They are both doing very well and have decided to create new campuses for their respective churches, each in my town not far from my church. My friend was wondering what our church thinks about this.
For most people the knee-jerk reaction is "competition". Someone else trying to do the same thing we are in our area, how dare they. But for me, great! Why? Because we're all on the same team. If we start seeing other churches as competition, we've missed it. We should all be working together anyway. As Paul wrote:
Is there any such thing as Christians cheering each other up? Do you love me enough to want to help me? Does it mean anything to you that we are brothers in the Lord, sharing the same Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic at all? Then make me truly happy by loving each other and agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, working together with one heart and mind and purpose. ~ Philippians 2:1-2 (LB)
I know the churches who are coming in, I even know a few of their ministers personally. And I also know one other thing. 80% of my community does not attend church on Sunday morning. I can either view the other churches as competition, or we can all work together to make that number smaller and help them know there is a loving God who wants to restore them to a place of relationship with Him.
Maybe we should all try working together...