A look at church envy and when the grass is greener on the other side
I was going through some old files the other day and came across a bunch of notes from some worship conferences I attended a few years ago. As I leafed through all my chicken scratch and half legible note taking, I started to laugh. Nothing I had written down had to do with my growth as a worship pastor. It was all about what worked and what failed in various churches that were participating in the conference. I had written statements like, “We need to add this,” or “Don’t do this,” or, “Would be really cool if we did this.”
The reason I laughed is because I realized how influenced I am by what the trendy churches are doing. Did I have church envy? Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with trying new things so that we can stay fresh and engage the culture. But sometimes we see the success of another ministry and assume that what worked there will work for me.
I have had some royal disasters by adopting the what worked well for another church without evaluating the culture of the church I was serving in. For example, doing a rockin’ version of “How Great Thou Art” in a ultra conservative church; really missed the mark on that one.
My point is this:
We have all seen something great that someone else is doing and thought “I can do that.” So… we run out, figure out how they did it and put it into the mix the next chance we get. It might work out or it might not. I have made the mistake of acting without asking. Acting on what I thought was cool, before asking why something worked.
Everything that churches do is relative, which means it might work somewhere else or it might kind of work or it might fall apart completely.
Next time you see some other worship pastor who has some incredible concept you want to start utilizing, take a minute to ask the question, “Am I doing this so we have a cooler church or am I doing this because it will help us experience God?”