Last year our cat went missing. As we began to check around the neighborhood we discovered several cats had gone missing. Then we discovered the culprit; coyotes. But where did they come from? We’d never had coyotes in our neighborhood before. Mysteriously, they started to appear the moment Life Church started breaking ground just to the north of us, thus chasing the coyotes out of the woods and into our neighborhood. It’s well documented that Pastor Craig Groeschel has a strong disdain for cats. This wasn’t about building a church to reach people far from God. This was a strategic maneuver by Pastor Craig and Life Church to kill my cat.
Hopefully, you read that last paragraph with the sarcasm in which it was written. Do I believe that Life Church killed my cat? No. So, what exactly am I getting at? What if you took out the word “cat” and put in the word “church.” Unfortunately, this is the attitude of some Christians and churches. We view other churches as coyotes. Just take out the word “Life” and put in the name of the church near yours. When you drive by that church on Sunday, and you see the parking lot full of cars, do you get excited for them or do you find yourself saying things like, “They don’t really preach the Gospel. They’re just stealing sheep. Their church is not as deep as ours.”
Often times we blame the lack of growth or decline of our church on the “hot” church in town. That excuse comes from our lack of understanding. Understanding that we need all the churches we can get. In the Tulsa metro area there are over 600,000 people that don’t go to church. Let that sink in a moment. 600,000 people that don’t know Jesus. If you’re more upset about my cat than that last sentence, take a moment and put a picture of your family member, neighbor, coworker, or friend, that is far from God, in the place of my cat.
What would happen if we stopped viewing other churches as a threat and instead viewed them as allies? Allies against a common enemy? Jesus prayed that we would walk in unity. Have there been times that I have felt threatened by another church? I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t feel that at times. But, that’s just my pride and sinful nature rising up. How do I overcome that? I spend time with other pastors. I spend time with people far from God. And I spend time on my knees. I’m honored to serve alongside the pastors in our city and call them friends. Together we are working to rob hell and populate heaven.
Welcome to the neighborhood Life Church…and Craig you owe me a cat.