Tag Archive: competition

Threatened By (the talent) Another Minister

There’s a danger when you hire someone to work alongside you. The danger increases when they have similar responsibilities to you or they report to you. And the danger is even greater when the person is talented.

The danger: their work or they themselves get more attention than you do.

  • What happens if their talent overshadows yours?
  • What if their influence is greater than yours?
  • What if church members or staff like them better than they like you?
  • What if their work becomes a huge win for the church?

I’ve recently welcomed this threat. We’ve added an Executive Pastor to our staff. He comes with his own experiences, gifts, and skill sets. And more than that, I work with a bunch of talented and smart people. (Seemingly, when the Holy Spirit was providing gifts to those I work with, He was feeling generous. Somehow when it became my turn to receive gifts, He all the sudden became a minimalist!)

You can be threatened by those around you who are capable leaders, or you can embrace what they bring to your church and figure out how to best serve, together.

It’s the Education Minister who hires a new student minister. The student minister is not only younger, more fun, but also really Biblically astute. Does the Education Minsters celebrate this, or does he make sure the influencers in the church also know about the new guy’s shortcomings?

It’s the Music Minister who has effectively led worship for many years, but organically, a vocalist from the praise team seems to be getting the attention. His voice and worship of God are clearly impressive. How does the Music Minister react?

Many times this threat plays out in the hiring process. The hiring minister foregoes a qualified candidate because they can see how that person might out-perform or get more accolades. It’s poor Kingdom management, but it happens.

Biblically, we know how we should respond.

Theoretically, we know we’re better together, even if we feel marginalized in that pursuit.

But methodologically, we often handle it differently. And sometimes sinfully.

We try to relegate these high achievers to small work so they can’t be noticed. We don’t encourage them or brag on them in front of others. We remind others of their weaknesses. We’re constantly looking for errors they may make.

Some practical reminders for when you feel threatened by the talent around you:

  1. Pray for them.
  2. Don’t worry about image management. Let the God who put you in your position, and them in theirs, deal with how others perceive you.
  3. Get to know them really well. It’s harder to be threatened by someone you know well, and actually, perhaps like. (I’ve written about church jealousy syndrome previously).
  4. Acknowledge your weaknesses, know theirs, and then develop a plan (with them) for how you can each excel in your giftedness and mitigate each other’s weaknesses through mutual cooperation.
  5. Memorize and put into practice Ephesians 4:29 and then adhere to it when speaking about them.
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