Are you someone who loves competition? Whether it’s on the field, court, or on the sales floor, competition abounds in our world. Chris Durso says that unhealthy competition is also plentiful in the ministry world as well.

“In this day and age, people so often get hung up on what’s going on in the lives of others. Especially on social media, people are constantly sharing about their lives. What can often happen is we are completely fine with what’s going on in our lives until we see the exciting things in the lives of others.”

All of the sudden, what used to be good enough, no longer is.

“We appreciate what we’ve accomplished until we see someone who seems to have accomplished more than us. As a result, we have Christians competing within the church.”

Chris says we can look to the story of a young Joseph to see the negative ramifications of competition in the body of Christ.

“In the beginning, Joseph was out in the field working with his brothers. After he has two dreams and receives a coat, he stays home, while his brothers are out in the field. Joseph’s father tells him to go check on his brothers as they are working in the field.”

The Bible says when Joseph’s brothers saw him in the distance; they plotted to kill him.

“They decided they were going to take their brothers life. They were no longer looking at their brother as their brother. They were looking at him as their competition. As his brothers, the shepherds, took their eyes off their sheep and started to watch their brother in the distance, they now started to figure out how they could take out their fellow brother and shepherd.”

Chris says this very same thing can happen in ministry.

“We have shepherds (pastors) that take their eyes off of the sheep (congregations). We have people who take their eyes off their responsibilities and they start to look at someone else off in the distance. Often someone is celebrating a testimony and you can’t even hear the significance of the testimony because you’re so caught up with what hasn’t happened for you yet.”

If we’re not careful, Chris says the very things that are meant to encourage our faith, can actually discourage us if we look at others as competition instead of fellow co-laborers.

Chris Durso is the Senior Associate Pastor at Christ Tabernacle, a multicampus church in Queens and Brooklyn, New York. He is also the creative architect of Misfit NYC, a ministry for millenials which he led for 10 years. Chris lives with his wife and two children in New York.

Featured Songs: I Am No Victim – Kristine Dimarco; Song of My Father – Urban Rescue; Amazed – Lincoln Brewster

How grace robs us of our shame