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Are You Guilty of Being a Pinterest Pastor?

Pinterest Pastor Type 2: The Downers

There’s a second type of Pinterest Pastor: one who has fallen into the comparison trap. You feel like you can’t live up to the other cool things others are doing.

It’s easy to understand why pastors can feel so beat down by the success of others on their same team. With a few clicks, we can compare church size, influence and even salaries.

It used to be that the spirit of competition was geographic or denominational, with pastors swapping stories at conferences and meetings.  

Today, social media has closed the comparison gap. You’re comparing your children’s ministry area to the Disneyesque church with the million-dollar budget. You’re comparing last week’s message to the conference talk of the megachurch pastor. And you’re comparing your website to the top 100 websites in the world.

Nevermind that the people in your church have never heard of the famous podcast pastor or will never visit the other children’s ministry. Their existence and recognition is enough to make you wonder what you’re doing wrong and why you’re not experiencing that level of success.

Steven Furtick says pastors often feel bad about their message because they are comparing their everyday talk to the A-game conference special of their communication hero.

The drive to go to the next level, fueled with knowledge of cool things other people are doing, can keep you from focusing on where you are and who you are. Suddenly, your identity as a leader is being shaped more by what others are doing and what you should be doing, rather than the One who saved and called you.

“It is vital that you cross the finish line in ministry, and to finish well, you have to refuse the urge to compare yourself to others. The measure of your success is fulfilling God’s calling on your life, not the standards set by others,” says Rick Warren in this video.

But God didn’t call you to impress other pastors on social media—He called you to your place of service.  

If He’s entrusted you with two talents, it’s not helpful to compare yourself to the pastor with 10.

So, are you guilty of being a Pinterest pastor?  

Where are you naturally drawn on the people-pleasing spectrum? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.  

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After two decades as a student pastor, church planter, senior pastor and leadership consultant, Michael Lukaszewski now leads the team at Church Fuel, an organization dedicated to providing insanely practical resources to pastors. He and his wife have three children and live in the Atlanta area. Learn more at churchfuel.com.