#tcgwky

Leadership, Reflections & Introspection

#tcgwky – Round 1, Fight!

30 Jul , 2017  

I’ve had several people ask me what this hashtag (#tcgwky) meant in relation to my last social media post. The letters represent “The Comparison Game Will Kill You.” It comes from the thought based out of my 13 things in 13 years, specifically #13 – Comparison Kills. This journal is so important to me and to leadership, that I decided to have one of my best friends (Pastor Johnathan Key) co-write this subject with me. He is all too familiar with this subject and the impact it has on a spiritual and/or business leader. His portion will be featured in part 2 a.k.a “Round 2, Fight!” – which you can view here.


This is what I wrote during my last leadership journal…

#13 – Comparison Kills: Maybe one of the most dangerous things we can do in ministry is to allow the comparison game to get the best of us. This game is consumed with jealousy/envy, vanity, friendly fire and an unhealthy need for competition. The church/ministry, event, and leader are not in competition with me and what I am doing. We are on the same team. Yes, it is wise to see what others are doing & how they are doing it. Sure “borrow” an idea or fifty-two… but obsessing with their model, their size, their leadership focus/style and their arts/media is super unhealthy. I cannot help but wonder even in my own life how much this comparison shapes my thinking. Every time I get on Instagram or Facebook and see the latest, I wonder how damaging it is to my own soul seeing well-meaning people I admire doing things I want or dream of doing. If you and I aren’t careful, we will end up wishing we were someone else and lose focus on our calling, gifts, and purpose.We all have a race that we have to run, but I can’t run my race while watching yours in your lane. I think Robert Madu gives the best picture of this while ministering about Saul and David. Longevity in ministry is paved when we get our focus off of others and back on God and the WIN.

I want to expound on this a little more…

The comparison game is a killer to the health of a leader. It steals the joy and passion for the very purpose that leader has. Comparison is a constant nagger causing vision, purpose, and faith to continuously be called into question. It can destroy friendships and partnership. Lastly, it also seeks to eat at the mental health of a leader. This deadly game has become game over for a lot of people. In my honest opinion, it is the greatest threat to a spiritual leader. It is one of Satan’s favorite snare and tool to use in destroying a pastor and leader.

One of the most dangerous things we can do in ministry is to allow comparison to get the best of us. Click To Tweet

When we begin to compare negatively… we are essentially telling God that what he is doing in us, is not better than what he is doing in someone else. We look at their status and position, their numbers/size, giving/sales, social media friends/followers, their likes/comments, and their every day and simply lose focus on the God-moments that is happening within our own lives. Often times, the clear indicator of being a character (player) in the comparison game is the unwillingness to celebrate others OR the feeling of not enough in relations to others. THE COMPARISON GAME IS A LOSING BATTLE THAT WILL LEAVE YOU WOUNDED, LONELY AND IN DISOBEDIENCE!

This played out too well in the life of King Saul, who was filled with unbridled jealousy and enviousness. He saw David as a threat simply hearing silly girls chant “Saul kills his thousands, and David his ten-thousands.” This little serenade started a saga of hatred and attempted murders. It snowballed and ultimately landed David as King and Saul dead.

Really think about your life and ministry… like really think about it. Are you seemingly playing in this game of negative comparison, losing sight of your identity, your vision, and your race? Are you more concern with what others are doing instead of what you are doing? How’s your motive when you look at others and that they are doing? Can you celebrate them without the “I wish that was me” or “I can do that, too?”

THE COMPARISON GAME IS A LOSING BATTLE THAT WILL LEAVE YOU WOUNDED, LONELY AND IN DISOBEDIENCE! Click To Tweet

A moment of transparency… Lately, this comparison game and struggle has gotten the best of me. I see a lot of my friends I personally know succeeding at life, relationships, and ministry, while I feel stuck in a transitional holding pattern. Some days my heart aches to have a wonderful highlight reel of life, always on the go, traveling, speaking, being creative and simply enjoying. I came face to face with this comparison monster about a month ago and it has caused me to take close introspection, refocus on Jesus and pursue my callings. So I decided to get rid of what has caused most of this – SOCIAL MEDIA! I have currently been off of all social media for the 2 weeks now and it feels great. More time is spent worshipping, in prayer and doing intentional things for my life. I encourage anyone to take inventory of their life and remove the comparison between you and someone else. Find joy and hope in the thing that you are doing. Celebrate others wins, encourage when someone is down and embrace this journey of life.

– Pastor Corey Gibson

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#tcgwky

Guest Post, Leadership, Reflections & Introspection, That'll Preach Sayings

#tcgwky – Round 2, Fight!

28 Jul , 2017  

#TCGWKY = The comparison game will kill you.

This journal series was co-written with Pastor Corey Gibson. See what he says about #TCGWKY in Round 1, Fight! of the series.

In just the last few years, I’ve been in three distinctly different seasons of life and ministry. I’ve been in the role of leading a ministry that was “small”, I’ve been in the wilderness of transition, and I’ve been in the driver’s seat of a nationally recognized movement. The idea that the spirit of comparison is exclusive, or even stronger, in any season is just as rich of a lie as that destructive sirens’ promise that better grass exists. When I worked with a small ministry, I wanted to be in a bigger one. When I was in transition, I just wanted to be wanted, the way I felt everyone else who had a platform was… wanted. And when I had somehow “arrived” into my dream position, piloting a ministry that had influenced me for years, I was still just as empty and green as I had ever been. Shades of inadequacy and hues of envy colored the way I viewed everything.

I have watched friends fall at my left side and brothers abandon calling at my right hand. And in my most vulnerable moments, I can tell you that the same spirit has not just come nigh my dwelling, she has kissed my ear on my own couch as I gaze into an iPhone wondering when I will ever “matter”. She has taken my place in bed, next to my wife, while I pace through hallways and try to develop ideas like adding rungs onto a proverbial ladder. I’ve read enough books, listened to enough podcasts, and heck even preached enough sermons about not comparing peoples highlight reels to your life. It’s easy to say “Amen” to, but seemingly impossible to escape.

I chased success like some mythical white beast, that was always just far enough from my hands that I would never really reach it. I found myself constantly pursuing something other than the pursuer, and you simply can’t live like that. All in all, I found myself subscribed to the idea that working harder was the answer. There’s nothing wrong with hard work, but my every movement became about proving

something to someone. I didn’t care much who it was, but I had an intrinsic need for validation that was achingly insufficient – all because my life didn’t look like the Instagram feeds that I had idolized. All because twitter followers somehow eluded me but migrated to everyone else. Because I couldn’t for the life of me gain a blue check on Facebook. Because I only got to speak at four camps per summer, and not ten.

There’s a reason it feels like you are always chasing… running and gasping for each breath, holding your ribs in exhaustion. Because comparison NEVER wants to you to know satisfaction. No matter how big the ministry, how influential your social clout, how perfect your airbrushed photos are, there will always be another dying star that vies for your attention. And if we do not make a conscious choice to abdicate comparison’s power of our life we will make our spiritual dwelling in the slums of rejection.

Why? Because comparison and rejection are winning dance partners, and our western-progressive-Christian minds are the ballroom. A month ago, I found myself back in this place of transition. This time not just in employment, but in calling, in residence, in economic status, what felt like every aspect of life. At the pinnacle of this change, I laid in bed one night for hours listening to the same song on repeat. “I’d rather see your stars explode” by a band called Slaves. (If you’re some hyper-purist, don’t listen, they aren’t even remotely a Christian band). But I lay there incessantly hitting “play again” all for a three-line bridge towards the end of the song where the singer says, “I’m gonna show what I’ve got left. You haven’t even seen my best. Just wait.” Somehow without me even noticing, years’ worth of rejection began surfacing and I found myself weeping, gritting my teeth and bitterly declaring those three lines of lyrics over and over again

All of that to say this, the comparison had made me believe that I would never live without being in someone else’s shadow. A predecessor, a successor, an illegitimate idol who fits into skinny jeans better than I ever have hopes for, the list goes on…

That night I made a decision that the world would see my best. No matter what it took. I persuaded my own heart to trust that I still had something left inside to offer. The only way we kill comparison is regaining security in our God-given identity. Mine is different than yours. And it’s different than my wife’s. It’s different than the pastor with 12,000 followers and it’s different than the guy’s who preaches in a living room for 12 people. We must come to a place where we unashamedly embrace our differences, where we celebrate the favor of God on our friends and on our rivals, where we cancel our premium subscription to Satan’s lies and rejoice in who we are as children of God. I’m more and more convinced daily that genuine revival and comparison cannot cohabitate. The reason is, revival and comparison are at war for who gets the glory. If we authentically desire a move of God, comparison must die.

Revival and comparison are at war for who gets the glory. If we authentically desire a move of God, comparison must die. Click To Tweet

-Johnathan Key

Johnathan is a national speaker and church consultant with a passion for training leaders to “make things better. always.” With 13 years experience in ministry, Johnathan now travels spreading fires and coaching pastors, leaders, and volunteers to understand that revival is a choice. He is a husband to Andrea, Dad to Israel, and Unashamed Skylanders collector. Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website

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Randomness, Reflections & Introspection

My Family – Gateway Shelbyville

20 Sep , 2014   Gallery

Words cannot express how much I will miss these people. We have had so many hangouts, laughs, deep talks and food! Simply want to say THANK YOU! #family #friends #kingdomconnections

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