"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth."
(1 Corinthians 3:6-7)
We Americans love competition. Or should I say "we American guys" love competition!?! You name it, we'll challenge each other to it: sports, politics, entertainment, love, etc... heck, when my son was little, we made a game out of practically everything we wanted him to learn! We love competition.
Unfortunately, however, the drive to compete has found its way even into our churches. Who has the biggest church? Whose church is growing faster? Who's giving more away to missions? Who's had the most new-member baptisms? Who has the most active small groups? I could go on and on... Oh, we don't actually SAY these things out loud to each other, but they're frequently in the back (or forefront?) of our minds.
Paul gives us a wonderful perspective on this very topic. The Church in Corinth was having problems with factions among the congregation, based on various leaders (current & past). It doesn't matter, he says. We're not important! GOD GIVES GROWTH. Look to God. Everything that is good about us and the churches we serve comes from God. Period. That's a lesson many of us pastors still need to learn.