Church Creatives: Don’t Be Crushed By Comparison

Church Creatives: Don’t Be Crushed By Comparison

February 17, 2014 by

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” A couple of months ago, I experienced this first hand.

I had the privilege of filming our church’s annual baptism service. It never gets old to see people publicly proclaim Christ, but almost as powerful was to see all the people who had gathered from our church to support those being baptized. In short, it was a moving service.

The next day as I was editing the video, I was excited to see that it captured the power of the moment as well as the atmosphere. This video was going to be a valuable resource to our church to help communicate the importance of baptism as well as encourage more folks to join us next year.

The Distraction

As I took a break from editing the video, I happened to peruse Twitter. A tweet popped up from another church with a link to their recent baptism video. I was excited to see how they edited their video together so I clicked on the link hoping to glean some creativity from them.

Their video was nothing short of fantastic… and I was depressed.

There was a part of me that truly rejoiced in them making this magnificent video but I mostly felt inadequate. Their video looked like someone in Hollywood had produced it. Mine, in comparison, looked amateur and I was discouraged. I remember thinking to myself, “I’ll never be able to produce anything as good as that video.”

It was a hopeless feeling.

A Better Way

If I continued in that line of thinking, I would have burnt out quite quickly in my job. Success would never be achievable. There had to be a better way.

Then I was reminded of the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). The master in the parable rewarded the servants who doubled their talents and punished the one who did not. Did the master reward the servant who made five talents more than the one who made three talents? No, he says the exact same thing to both, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”

It seems to me that success in the kingdom is never defined by comparison. It’s never found in relation to something or someone else. Rather, success is being a good steward with the time, talent and treasure God has given you.

While comparison can bring some short-term happiness, it never delivers on what it promises. Comparison almost always leads to despair. On the other hand, if we define success as being faithful to the time, talent and treasure God has given, God is pleased. God always delivers on his promises and joy awaits.


We do important work—sharing the gospel—but that doesn’t mean we can work ourselves to death. Learn more about how to fight church communicator burnout.

Post By:

Tim Briggs

Tim Briggs is the creative media pastor at Church at Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C. When not writing or reading blogs, he likes to rock in a rocking chair.
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4 Responses to “Church Creatives: Don’t Be Crushed By Comparison”

  • Mark Nemitz
    February 17, 2014

    Great reminder of a foundational truth that should help me keep the right perspective day-to-day.
    BTW, I attended the aforementioned baptism AND saw the related video, which DID capture the essence of the day. Well done!

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  • Julia
    February 18, 2014

    This is something I struggle with daily. I often find myself thinking about other churches who appear to be doing things better than we are, which is a hopeless and depressing feeling. Thank you for the reminder about how true kingdom success is defined.

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  • George
    February 18, 2014

    Great words, Tim.

    Your words that “success in the kingdom are never defined by comparison” is spirit led. We often get so caught up with the speed by which our world moves. Creativity and Innovation are no longer catch words and beautiful ways to express one’s efforts. They’ve become ‘expected’ in so many aspects of our daily life, work and ministry.

    I’ve been employed in the secular world for much of my 25 years of adult work life. Most recently I’ve been a Chief Creative & Business Development executive for a Marketing agency the past 6 years. As a man of God who tries to exude Jesus to every single employee, client and vendor I work- it is quite a challenge. Today was one of those days as I read through some incredible articles about creative people in our culture. I found myself thinking ‘man there’s no way I could pull that off”. Then God convicted me and reminded me that I can’t…but HE can. I rarely hit this site and tonight while traveling to the east coast I read your post. Thank you for sharing. Thanks to our gracious God for his perfect timing for each of us.

    BTW- every single live baptism service that I’ve been blessed to be a part of brings tears to my weary eyes, goosebumps to my aging skin and recharges my battery of faith. I am sure your video was incredible and God was pleased. Thanks again for sharing.

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  • Joyto
    February 19, 2014

    I totally understand you. I watched your video and can say that it tells me a lot about your church’s importance on baptism. I saw kids, youth, families, gathered together to celebrate the new life in Christ of others. At the end, I believe a good video is one that tells a good story in such way that will impact the local church and the community around. I believe your video does so. You can always compare in order to learn and raise your bar a little, but never to diminish what God has given you. Final thought: we have made “mediocre” videos that God has used to SAVE lifes!!

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