Do you ever feel a sense of competition in ministry? An overwhelming desire to measure up to how your peers are serving? To be as “gifted” as another person on your ministry team?
I was overwhelmed with these thoughts last May. I serve on the worship team at my church every Sunday. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my church and I love my ministry; I was just going through a rut. Throughout that entire month, I was so analytical of my singing. If I forgot a lyric or hit a wrong note, I would beat myself up all day. As if, somehow my miniscule mistakes were the only things people would remember from church. Then, I started comparing myself to other people in my ministry. If someone could hit a note that I couldn’t I felt like I didn’t even deserve to be serving. I wasn’t good enough. Have you ever been there? Maybe someone else greets more people than you do or goes to every single event at your church or goes on more mission trips than you, leaving you feeling inadequate?
It’s good to be encouraged by people in the church, but there is a very unhealthy level of comparison that can occur in ministry. Leaving us constantly trying to “measure up”. Stuck with hideous thoughts swirling through our brains on Sunday mornings.
Here’s the truth someone told me that I wish I would have realized sooner:
You don’t need to be the best in your ministry.
In fact, it really is impossible. Maybe outwardly people may seem to check all of the boxes, but you can never fully know somebody who isn’t yourself. And we don’t have to because we know that nobody on this Earth can be perfect. So, you cannot have a perfect minister. They may have strengths that you accept to be the most important, but that doesn’t diminish your strengths in that ministry. God has gifted you uniquely. There is nobody who can minister like you, better than you.
1 Corinthians 12:12
“For just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body- so also is Christ.”
Each individual within a ministry serves as a piece of a body part that is within the body of Christ. We don’t need to be the whole part. And if we try to be, we will fail because we are incapable of perfection. God has shaped each soul on this planet individually so that they may benefit the kingdom of God in their own unique way. You don’t have do ministry in a way that looks the same as other Christians. We all have unique gifts that make us who we are, who we were created to be.
1 Corinthians 12:5
“There are different ministries, but the same God.”
Please remember that part of being in the body of Christ, means one united purpose. One purpose that umbrellas over all of our spiritual gifts: sharing the love of God. This looks different for every individual, so don’t look at other ministers like they are more valuable than you! If God has called you to a ministry, He’s going to use you how He wants to. He doesn’t need to use you, but He wants to with every fiber of His being. That is why we need to rebuke any feelings of competition in ministry. He just wants you. He wants the guitar player, the singer, the greeter, the lighting designer, the small group leader, the person who sits down with the new kid! Whatever way we serve Him, he adores because His desire for His children to serve him is the same for every single one of us. If we spend the majority of our time comparing ourselves to others in ministry, we might be missing out on living up to the potential of the calling God has given us. We can always be improving within our ministry, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be used.
God wants you as you are. He wants you to use your unique gifts to lift His name in a way that only you can. Please understand that there is no perfect minister. We are all works in progresses with different insecurities, fears, doubts, and paths. And, that’s okay! Imagine if every single minister was the same. Nothing would be achieved from that! Our individual strengths and weaknesses are things that make us, us. They are the building blocks to which we can find a ministry that suits us. Being the best in ministry is not something that the world can measure and it’s definitely not an individual. We don’t need to feel like we need to be the best, because in the eyes of the Lord the “best” is when the church comes together with all of their individual gifts to lift the name of Jesus. Ministry is not a competition, but rather an outlet to love others using your spiritual gifts. You don’t need to measure up to anybody, just let God use the real you.
You will always be good enough.