One of the things that REALLY bugs me about pastors and churches is sheep stealing. That's when a church moves into the area and "suddenly" they are running in the hundreds, sometimes thousands. How did they do that? They stole sheep.
Now don't get me wrong. Do I believe that God is birthing new churches everyday? - YES! I support it and encourage it. But here is where I start getting ticked off. How are you going to grow that church?
I hear new pastors tell me - "We're going to offer a SUPER kids ministry. An AWESOME youth ministry. A GREAT worship service." That's great, but why? Their answer is usually, "We're going to offer something better." This is where I get off this train. Better shouldn't be the goal. Why?
Churches who suddenly grow do so because they offer a "better" ministry or church. Then when people who are active in other churches see that this church is doing a "better" job than there church - "poof" - their gone!!
Why do I have a problem with this? Who decided that what the original church was doing was wrong? I can her you now, "Oh but Pastor Russ, it isn't that they were doing anything wrong, it just wasn't meeting there needs." Hmmm! Really? Who said so? If the church was being faithful to it's vision and mission - if the church was doing God's will in the lives of it's people - what could be better?
Better is a marketing strategy, not a Biblical principle. It's more important to do what's right, than what's better. If a person is at the right place at the right time doing the right thing for God, then who has the right to tell take them away from that. Now before you start sending me emails about "Oh, Pastor - we wouldn't do that." Then tell me why people who attend the "better" church target people from other churches? Why do they tell them, "Oh you don't want to attend that church - we are so much 'better'". Why do they run other church down in the community in order to make themselves look "better"?
Here's an idea. If you want to start a church. Determine that you are going to win the people who are have no relationship with Jesus - people who haven't found a church home - people who need help. Determine to be Jesus and not King David. If you don't understand that last statement then read 2 Sam 12.
Is doing your best a sin? No - never. But if your goal is to be "better" than everyone else in town - all you are doing is building your kingdom, not God's.