Easter weekend was a great weekend for us at Oasis.Church as much as it was for many others! Record Crowds, salvations, incredible stories of life-change.
However, there is another side of Easter that I have discovered through the years of being a Pastor. That is the side of comparison and isolation. We as pastors leave our church campus feeling on top of the world for all that happened and the crowds we had only to get on social media and see that a church down the street had twice as many (or more) people than you and many more salvations than you had. We then feel insignificant. We then isolate ourselves and allow ourselves to believe that we are just not as significant as XYZ Church that our friend pastors or the one down the street. I believe this is a poison that we simply cannot allow ourselves to partake of!
There was one year I absolutely went into a depression because of some events that occurred in an Easter Experience as well as doing what I stated above. We had a great weekend that year, but I quickly allowed the heart of gratitude and humility turn to bitterness and self-defeat that led to isolation and depression.
At Oasis, we don’t post the attendance numbers or the numbers of people who committed their lives to Jesus on social media anymore. I chose this route primarily because I didn’t want to be appearing to be playing the comparison game with my friends in our region who pastor great churches or with others around the nation and the world. I even declined interview for our church in a well-known publication that wanted to highlight our church on one of their yearly lists. I chose this simply because only pastors and church leaders read this particular magazine and I don’t want to appear to be bragging or gloating over all the The Lord is doing in our church.
I love to see and hear all the pictures and stories from my friends on how Easter went for them and their church! I know the quickest way to communicate with our church members and friends is through social media posts. Again, I am not frowning on that. It is not the issue of the one posting many times as it is for the one viewing it and comparing themselves to the success of others.
Pastors, be encouraged today regardless of what your numbers were this weekend! He is Risen! Lives were changed, people were saved! And that is victory! Don’t allow yourself to fall into that trap of comparison! Be thankful for each life you had the opportunity to impact! Every ONE counts! #DareNotToCompare