I’ve known Scott for over twelve years. During this time, I’ve had a front row seat to watch him develop into a strong leader and an excellent pastor. Under his leadership, The Oaks has become a beacon of influence in our community.
Scott and I both came to the suburbs of Dallas in 2003. In fact, we became pastors of churches that are only eight minutes apart. I began my work as the pastor of Freedom Fellowship International, when Scott was named senior pastor at The Oaks Fellowship.
At first, we both flourished in ministry and our churches were growing rapidly. Scott and I enjoyed a deepening relationship. There was no doubt God was knitting our hearts together. I felt we were really becoming colaborers, and in a way, partners.
However, it wasn’t long before I had to deal with serious issues in my own church. We didn’t have a strong foundation of leadership, and we began to struggle. Our numbers plummeted. We were no longer the growing, vibrant church we once were. It was as if I could feel my church, and my dreams, slipping through my fingers.
The stress took its toll, and I struggled with the temptation to compare the incredible things going on at Scott’s church with the lack of growth at mine. Money seemed to be pouring into The Oaks. Instead of praying about attendance and the budget (like I was), Scott and his board were struggling to be good stewards of the outpouring of God’s blessings. God had used me in a mighty way to bring a strong word to The Oaks, but I couldn’t change what was happening in my own church.
It became increasingly difficult for me to watch as The Oaks continued to thrive while our church declined. Everything Scott seemed to try at The Oaks was turning to gold. My jealousy caused me to shut down. I could feel my heart grow cold and distant toward the things of God. When I drove from Dallas to my home in Waxahachie, I had to drive by Scott’s church. I couldn’t even glance in that direction without being reminded of my own failures.
Search your heart with humility and honesty, and consider whether jealousy or envy of another pastor, church, or ministry has in any way clouded your heart. Who is that pastor, or what is that church or ministry, and how will you face this problem?