Friday, February 27, 2009

Touching Base! Part 29

Being Threatened or Empowered

From the early stages of childhood until our death bed, competition is something we live with, enjoy watching and at times engage with. Great sports events are often such because the score was close, the teams see-sawed back and forth and the outcome was not determined until the last minute of play. The thrill of the competition in sports entices fans to pay top dollar for tickets and sometimes results in fan hysteria as their beloved team either crashes and burns or rises to triumph.

Competition is also very much alive and well in the corporate world. “Dog-eat-dog” and “climbing the corporate ladder” and stepping on a few hands and heads as one ascends are often the mindset of the corporate-minded person. In this day and age of recession people are fighting even harder to guard and maybe even gain market share.

Unfortunately, the Church has fallen prey to the spirit of competition. Sometimes Churches in a community do not see each other as part of the same team but as threats potentially jeopardizing one’s own “work of God” in town. This does nothing good for the Kingdom of God. Instead, competition divides a Church that needs to be united, dilutes resources and demonstrates to the world how small in our thinking and dreaming we have become.

At Bethel we are grateful for the many wonderful expressions of the Church that exist in Kingston. While we don’t agree with every Church, there are many who are passionate about making disciples, are reaching redemptively into their community and are filled with our brothers and sisters in Christ, with whom we will spend eternity. Their songs may be different, their sanctuaries of a different shape and size, their sermons longer or shorter but their Saviour is our Saviour and that makes us all part of the same team.

We are committed to learning about ministry and building a healthy church as we witness other churches in the community growing in God. We are committed to offer what wisdom we may have, what expertise we my posses to help another church reach its full stride. We are committed to guarding the integrity of our partner churches and speaking well of them, and praying for them as they experience seasons of turbulence. Their gain is our gain. Their pain is our pain.

I encourage you to learn from the different models of Church in the Kingston area. May their unique way of doing ministry and their God-given vision help you appreciate how awesome God’s Kingdom is!


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