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October 8th, 2007

by Craig Groeschel

25 comments (+ Add)

Kingdom-Minded 1 (of 4)

Speak Well of Others

We should all seek to become more “Kingdom-Minded. We should not just focus on our ministry, but embrace, celebrate, and partner with God’s Spirit in our cities, countries, and around the world.

Let’s start by honoring other ministries with our words. As a ministry leader, I am trying to always speak well of other ministries. (I’ve been guilty of speaking poorly about other ministries in the past.)

To speak well of others, it helps that we feel good about them—even those who are different in style than our own. To embrace others, I have to acknowledge:

  • My way of doing ministry is not the only way, nor is it the best way.
  • My gifts, passions, talents, anointing, calling, context, and call are unique. (So are yours.)
  • If everyone did ministry the way I do, we would never reach the whole world.
  • I don’t understand why some people do what they do. I don’t have to. I choose to give them the benefit of the doubt.
  • I can learn from those who are different from me.

Some good rules:

  • Don’t participate in church gossip.
  • Don’t talk badly about some pastor you don’t know.
  • Don’t talk badly about some pastor you do know.
  • Don’t bash churches on blogs. (There are way too many jerks with a computer and an internet connection.)
  • Brag on other ministries—especially in your community.
  • If you’re going to be guilty, be guilty of speaking well of the body of Christ—rather than being guilty of being divisive.

How are your words helping (or hurting) the body and cause of Christ?

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Comments

there are a total of25
  1. Oct 8, 2007 at 6:14 am

    “If everyone did ministry the way I do, we would never reach the whole world.” I need to add this quote to your quotes post from last week.

    I enjoy spending time with, talking to and bragging on other pastors’ ministries outside of LifeChurch.tv; it helps to keep my perspective in check.

  2. Oct 8, 2007 at 6:14 am

    Thought Invoking Blog!!! Personally, I have never had problems with Ministries as a whole but how people act in ministry. One thing is for sure…no one is perfect and people will let you down and that never feels good. When this has happened in the past, I have tried to look past my feelings and flesh and the initial shock of how people react at times (which is difficult) and give it to God. I am never perfect at this but I know he wants me to surrender all to him…including how I feel. We don’t have to agree, we can debate, we can challenge each other, we can even be frustrated, but let us go to the Word of God as our standard and if we just disagree … let God deal with it, He is the great vindicator. Craig, it sounds that God used you to challenge many at Catalyst. I pray that the words God spoke through you will resound for a LONG time in those that heard them. What a blessing!

  3. Oct 8, 2007 at 6:49 am

    Great Post! I have recently surrendered to God’s call to plant a church in the town which I live. You can me read my journey at the website below. Being a member of a church plant of about 2 years old in the same town, I have fretted and stressed over how my pastor may feel about me doing this. I value his blessings. I don’t want to be in competition, I just want to answer a call and be a part of reaching the over 100,000 un-churched, un-reached in our community.

    I’m not saying my pastor would react negatively, but the fear is there just the same because of the “territory syndrome” that exsist in many of us. Somehow we have forgotten we all work for the same King trying to help expand the same Kingdom as God gives the increase. We have forgotten, at times, that God builds His church…we are mere messangers. We have no talent, no gift, no calling…if God didn’t pour His favor over us and give us such a divine and humble privelage.

    Thanks for reminding me that it is all Kingdom Work. WE MUST DO IT TOGETHER!

    Bryan

  4. Oct 8, 2007 at 6:56 am

    Pastors and churches fascinate me. Over the last few months after reading Being the Body by Colson (a very long read, but very good) - I have been trying to weigh my actions, thoughts, words against this phrase he says:

    “Unity is the single most effective form of evangelism”

    I wrote a little bit more about it on my blog back in March, so instead of taking over the comments, if anyone wants to read it you can go here:

    http://www.flowerdust.net/?p=359

  5. Oct 8, 2007 at 7:02 am

    Craig,

    I’ve never understood the competition. I guess it is because I grew up in a para-church family (YFC/Campus Life) and my dad worked with every church in town. Our competition isn’t against each other –it is against NFL, NASCAR, the beach, the mountains, the lake, etc….

    I wrote about Rick Warren’s talk on my blog last week and even predicted I would get hate comments about him and I did. How do believers answer what Paul said in Phil 1:15-16

    It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

  6. Oct 8, 2007 at 7:27 am

    Craig,

    I believe the main reason individuals (within ministry and outside of it) deride other ministries is because on some level we will always feel insecure about some aspect of either our ministry or, more specifically, ourselves. Plus, once we’re set in our ways we’re far less likely to even consider someone else’s point of view.

    So, of course, the easiest and fastest way to build up oneself or one’s efforts in ministry is, unfortunately, by tearing down someone else’s. This form of pride, which is of course comparitive in nature, screams of insecurity and selfishness…which is an unfortunate part of the church being comprised of flawed individuals under grace.

    But this is exactly why we must be prudent about what we do and what we don’t partake of in thought and discussion, like you said, because the Church is certainly here so that we might strengthen each other’s weaknesses with each other’s strengths…but the Church is here for one far more important thing that should hopefully put it all into perspective: The Church is here for His glory.

    Hopefully we can strive to not succumb to the urge to go on an internet-rant, :)

    Thanks for the dosage of perspective, Craig.

  7. Oct 8, 2007 at 7:32 am

    I am guilty of bashing others too. Typically it has been out of my own ignorance of what they are doing. Lately I have been initiating regular contact with other local senior pastors just to be in touch face to face.

  8. Oct 8, 2007 at 7:44 am

    This is an important point, thanks for pointing it out again. We always need to be respectful of other ministries and Men/Women of God, sadly most if not all of us have been critical of others and their ministries at one time or another, be it out of jealousy or insecurity or just a competitive spirit.

    We are the Body of Christ, One Body, many parts all working together for a singular mission. We have enough outside forces working against us, there is no time or place for in fighting.

    I believe that the church has taken great steps forward in recent years and we have, as a whole, become more Kingdom Minded. There was a time that we were divided along denominational lines and you would never see A Baptist and a Pentecostal on the same stage at a conference, now those barriers have been broken down a great deal. And we are beginning to see that it is about building the Kingdom of God, not the kingdoms of men. God has used great servants like Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Bill Bright, John Maxwell and so many others to help point us to the bigger picture. I see more than ever pastor seeking to help one another succeed. Craig you and your team have been amazing at this with Lifechurch Open, and taking the time to share with us through Swerve. And it is catching on. Thanks you Craig for being an example of a Kingdom Minded Man of God. It is about building HIS Kingdom for HIS honor and HIS glory. My prayer is that the Lord would keep us humble servants who seek to make Jesus famous and not ourselves. God Bless

  9. Oct 8, 2007 at 7:55 am

    [...] Check it out here [...]

  10. Oct 8, 2007 at 8:17 am

    Well Said Craig. By the way, some of our staff are still DISTURBED. Apparently they haven’t slept well since you spoke last week. Thanks!

  11. Oct 8, 2007 at 8:42 am

    I think this is so important, but not just toward ministries, but just toward people in general. People don’t need us to point out their faults. Believe me when I get something in my eye, I’m well aware of it.

    Jeremiah 15:19 has helped me in this regards. If I want to speak the things of God to people then I must be able to see the good and speak to that and encourage that. It’s my opinion the more people embrace the good, the more they let go of the bad.

  12. Oct 8, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Honestly, I am at a school that has some different ways of doing things than I am used to. I am learning to embrace the differences and engage in it as a follower of Christ not a member of a church. Although being a member of the body is important, being a devoted follower no matter the circumstances is far better a calling.

  13. 13MArcin Mizak
    Oct 8, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks Craig. I don’t know what to write. But I’m with you.

  14. Oct 8, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    The pastoral staff at Lifecentre is so filled with the love of Christ. They walk in integrity and lead by example. I have never heard a one of them speak poorly about another church, pastor or lay person - no one. I love that God has placed me in such a part of His body - fresh blood running through the veins. As a person who came to Christ later in life, I’m glad to have been a baby Christian with godly spiritual parents. Thanks for the reminder!

  15. 15Libby
    Oct 8, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Not speaking well of other ministries is honestly a characteristic of the hypocritical ‘Christian’. And one of the strongest reasons I prefer ‘disciple’, rather than ‘christian’. Word of mouth is the most powerful method of marketing anything, even faith and ministry. And negative comments spread much faster than positive ones. The irony is that as ministries speak negatively about each other individually, the non-believer views us all as one group. Thank you, Craig and LC Leaders, for making sure we staff members and our attenders give all the glory to Him, not LifeChurch.tv, because we all work for one God.

  16. Oct 8, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Its like you plucked that one right out of my heart Craig!!!

    You know when I was a brand new Christian, the elder of a church I was attending told me to stay away from John MaCarthur… that he was a false teacher…

    I took their advice…

    One day I was listening to Bott Radio network, and heard this sermon that just grabbed my heart… and the Spirit of God really used to convict me of personal sin… and healed me of… it was John MaCarthur…

    I have to confess that I have been guilty of speaking poorly of other ministries in the past (to my shame)…

    I am a bit perplexed though…

    Paul in one circumstance called out two men by name, exposing them as “false” (1Timothy 2:18-20)… and yet said something seemingly contradictory in Philliians.. about others preaching Christ…

    I think if we have reason to believe that another ministry is sinning, we should go to them in private, then bring a witness, and then tell the whole church…I always though this was the biblical way to deal with that type of stuff…

    But as far as ministry is concerned, as long as Christ is preached (even if it is for personal advantage)… we should rejoice…

    Is there ever a time we should call out other ministries and expose them, or should we always seek to speak positively of every ministry?

    I am perplexed about this…

    By the way… I saw that Kevin Bussey responded on this blog…

    Hello Kevin!!! You did an article on my ministry on your blog awhile back, and you were very gracious… great blog, great ministry Kevin!

  17. Oct 8, 2007 at 8:02 pm

    All important post…there really is no competition but you do see territorialism all over church-world. But I can understand as people work hard.

    Truth is…over 85% of churches in America don’t reach 1% of the county population in attendance. (I researched over 2,000 counties in America to find the largest church in each county, which is how I know that.)

    If we would unite…which doesn’t mean we all have to do the same thing or be on the same page, but realize we are all after the same mission…we could effectively do more.

    Sound advice to us all Craig.

  18. 18maggie
    Oct 8, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    I agree…. I TRY so hard to follow the rule my mamma taught me “If you can’t say something Nice…. say nothing”. Im a hair stylist and in my industry it is sooo easy to say something bad about other stylists… I try to look at life as art and we all see things differently so we tend to do Life differently…. Not right or wrong! Just different!

  19. 19Bo
    Oct 8, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Craig, you are exactly right! Let’s not tackle the people on our own team!

  20. Oct 8, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    [...] Good Stuff… Posted October 9, 2007 One of the things that really bothers me as a pastor is the lack of cooperation among many churches… some (not all) seem to view other churches (especially new ones) as competition.  In some cases there is even open hostility!  One of Lifesong’s core values is that we value Kingdom growth… that we will do whatever we can to grow, not just Lifesong, but the Kingdom.  This post by Greg Groeschel is a great reminder… may I never forget it. [...]

  21. 21Steve Kirkeby
    Oct 9, 2007 at 10:49 am

    Last Sunday I shared with the church during the worship service how much I appreciated a Family Fun day that another church down the street did last Saturday. The vision for our church is that we support good and godly things going on in our community. Our reasoning is that we desire our church to look beyond just what we are doing in our building or ministries so they how God is working in many areas in the world. We have found that it expands our spiritual vision and helps people be connected to what God is doing in our world

  22. 22Trina Kelley
    Oct 10, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    I agree 100%. Churches have to be different because people are. This is hard for some new christians to understand. They want to do everything the “right way”. I find myself grasping to explain this concept to some of my immature in Christ friends. I believe God gave us all our own gifts and our own style of doing things because he does like variety. I believe that it really doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you get Back to GOd. I am so thankful that Jesus came and reconcilled me to our Father, without his forgiveness and grace I would still be lost. I don’t have allthe answers and am glad that I don’t because I am still seeking. The important thing is to remember to love one another, not understand one another. lol

  23. Oct 11, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    [...] I have been challenged by my Pastor over the last few months with the bulk happening over the last few few days. I have to become more Kingdom Minded every day. I am excited to see what God is doing now and I could get very comfortable in this spot. However, this spot would not be giving God all I have. [...]

  24. Oct 11, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    [...] Kingdom Minded 1 of 4: Speak Well of Others  [...]

  25. Jun 19, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Ok Craig, so you admit that people are unique and we don’t have to do things the way you do… but then you give us rules so that we can do it the way you do. e.g. never speaking ill of another ministry? Well what if that ministry is going off track? What if they are preaching lies?

    That reminds me of my eldest sister, when she had a baby, having this rosey glassed goal of never saying anything negative to her newborn daughter. She announced the child would never know the word ‘no.’ She came back to visit when the girl was about 18 months old and my dad asked her “so does she know the word NO yet?” and my sister nodded and said “in four different languages.”