Fans or Players
November 1, 2015
The word “competitors” is a noun. It is in the nature of nouns that they are not either active or passive. They are just there. They describe things, persons, or other forms of reality. Competitors are some persons or entities which strive against us, typically in things of value. Their main goal is to take in as many of these “things” while leaving the competition with less. Commercial competitors confront one another, but not face-to-face.
Competitive is an adjective. It often describes an attitude that exists among athletes, or if not, that coaches strive to instill in their players. There is an implicit activity even struggle in the situation. It is not simply that one has more “toys” than the other but rather that one has engaged in a form of combat or struggle. The other is not just competition. It is the foe.
Table of the Differences between Recruiting and Advertising
|Results of “Recruiting” (Players)
|| versus “Advertising” (Fans)
|Part of a team
|Competitive and winning
Away from our competition
||Large numbers, loud noise
The analogies are drawn from commerce and sports. In both there is a desire to come out on top. What we suggest with this comparison is that our congregations have been content with fans and often neglected the danger of not working to defeat the foe.
The term “Christendom” can be used to describe a competition between those who espouse Christian faith and those who do not, or even the competition of various denominations of Christians in a culture in which the Christian faith is the dominant religion. In both instances there is a competition between groups with differing faiths and/or beliefs.
While there are reasonable ways of using the term “competition” in relation to church life we prefer the concepts of “competitive and winning,” particularly as directed against the real foe of Christians, Satan and empire of evil. The difference is clear to a coach of a team. Before the season starts, there are many competitors. In each game, there is only one – and “we are engaged in a fight to win.”
Advertising is like the promotional endeavors of those who sell tickets to the game. The recruiting endeavor is the beginning of a process that creates highly motivated players, competent in their skills, and winning their games. Advertising will bring in members to our congregations. Recruiting will bring in disciples. We can bring in members without making disciples. But the best members are those who are brought in as disciples. They are the ultimate winners.
Your comments on Part 5 will be appreciated.
Rev. Karl Koch