When Someone Is Jealous of Your Ministry

Well ladies, I know I’ve talked a few times about the dangers of comparison and making sure that as ministry leaders we keep our hearts right, but today-for the first time– I want to touch on another side of the subject.

What if others are jealous of our ministry?

I hold Praise and Coffee Nights here in my hometown, and they attract a lot of women from all different churches and many who are un-churched. I love it! There is nothing so beautiful to me as to look out at a crowd of women sitting side by side, women that would rarely cross paths, and see them connect with and encourage one another.

However, not everyone is so thrilled. Recently another ministry gal in our area accused my leadership team of speaking badly about her ministry at our leader’s meetings. Now, normally I would get my girls together and find out what was going on and how we should deal with this. But there are two reasons I didn’t this time.

  1. I was at our last meeting and her ministry was not brought up.
  2. It is Spring and we haven’t even had a ministry meeting since last summer, so I know these claims are false.

A few people have contacted me about the situation and this woman’s feelings of being victimized by our ministry. And every one of them emphasizes that they see no actual foundation for her feelings, but this woman is actually jealous of the success of our events.

I don’t say this with any pride, Ladies. This is tragic. The fact that women would feel a sense of competition about ministry is completely backwards thinking. We’re all in this together. I may not agree with other leaders and styles, but if women are finding hope and peace through someone’s ministry, we should celebrate that, not be jealous of it.

Romans 12:18 says: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

I’m so thankful that this verse says, “if it is possible, as far as it depends on you,” because sometimes these things are out of our hands. Not everyone is going to like us, and some will be jealous of us. I know that I used to deal with it in my own heart.

I’m also glad that it doesn’t say we have to live in “agreement.” Paul knew us better than that. Instead, the verse compels us to live at peace. Live free from conflict or anxiety. In other words, forgive and move on girls. Do what God’s called you to do. And always check your motives…are you building a ministry to make His name great or yours?

If your heart is to make His name great, you will not be threatened by any other ministry because you understand that we are all on the same team. We’re part of each other. But if someone is ugly to you and you suspect jealousy, pray for them. If it’s within your power, try to heal the conflict, but if not, lay it at the Lord’s feet and don’t let it become a distraction to you.

Let the Holy Spirit do His work and keep your heart open to reconciliation. All of us can take comfort knowing that we have a Savior who is familiar with our sense of pain and betrayal. Not one of us has perfected all the moves in this giant waltz of life. We’re all still stepping on toes all over the place. I’ve found I do much better if I let Jesus lead and settle into His arms as we sweep across the dance floor.

Father, I pray that You would help us to remember why we minister, that it’s all about You. Your glory, Your name. Lord, help us live at peace with one another and be motivated by love in all we do.

Sue Cramer

Founder of Praise and Coffee ministry and Magazine. A wife, mom, girlfriend and coffee drinker who loves the Lord.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn - Pinterest - YouTube

26 Comments

  1. Sue,

    I think this is a bigger problem than we realize. I know that I have been jealous of other people’s ministries in the past…until God dealt with me on the issue. Thankfully, I never took it public like this woman has done.

    Praying for the Lord to give you wisdom on how to deal with this…for it must be dealt with since she is slandering your ministry.

    Reply
    • Thanks Leah,
      I’ve put the situation in God’s hands.

      There was a day when I would have felt compelled to address it, but now (and in this situation) I have peace to let God be God and take care of it. I have no need to defend myself. Over the years I’ve seen how the truth has a way of coming out. And if it never does, I know that God has my back.

      I see these situations as more of a distraction. Satan would love to get me sidetracked fighting for my own honor. I choose to keep walking forward and hopefully bring Him honor.

      Thanks so much for commenting! Love ya girl! Sue

      Reply
  2. Oh Girl…you know that I know exactly what you are talking about. I have been on both sides of this and don’t say that lightly. Thankfully God has helped heal me from that and has also been teaching me (more so lately) that if I am obediently following HIS will (not my own) that I have nothing to defend to anyone. I serve an audience of One and really…He is the only one that matters. Thanks for being so honest with your post…I agree with Leah, this happens so much more than most people talk about. xoxo, Melissa

    Reply
    • Love that…we serve an audience of One!
      Love you too!
      Sue

      Reply
  3. HOLY COW, SUE!!! Satan is alive and well! You know, I am having to work very hard to not distance myself from women who are my peers….because of this very thing…the comparison, judgement issue. It has happened so much that I find it hard to trust them! God is having to change my heart in this, but I have seen it so much that it is hard for me. Just keep being who you are and serving the way you do. God is using you. Satan hates that and he is bound to use others to try to tear you down!!!

    I know I’m thankful for you!!!

    Reply
    • Gina,
      My heart is always grieved when women shrink back. Don’t forfeit your calling because others aren’t pleased.
      I find that I struggle with trusting others too so I focus on trusting God and the fact that He has my back- far better than I ever could.

      Keep serving in His love and grace.
      It keeps us from worrying about what anyone else but He thinks.
      He defends far better than we ever could.
      I’m thankful for you too!
      Hugs,
      Sue

      Reply
  4. This article caught my eye because it’s something that I have been a victim of, sadly, in the midst of plans and preparations for our women’s ministry hosting a Beth Moore simulcast event 2 years ago, that drew 500 women and resulted in changed lives and a salvation. Looking back, I see that the enemy was hard at work using jealousy and divisiveness, as the chairperson was jealous and threatened by my position as Women’s Ministry Director. I stepped away from this position, as I did not want to continue to be a part of a power struggle. The ministry has declined, and I believe Beth would be deeply saddened to hear that women, though we say we are for each other, we go to the bible studies, we are supposed to be confident in Christ, the reality is there is a lot of faking and competition and envy going on in women’s ministry today. Thanks for having the courage to post this article – I pray that we would all be aware of our motives in ministry.

    Reply
  5. Soooo true, Sue. And what a reminder for ALL of us – on both sides.

    Reply
  6. I will pray for everyone involved, for the Lord to heal past and present hurts. I am so thankful for you and for your ministry(s).

    Reply
  7. That’s a shame. I usually take the hint that maybe something needs to be tweaked in my ministry or maybe God is turning the page to a new chapter of my life. There’s a little sorrow as a pet ministry dies, but hope because God always has something great for us to do even in its smallest capacity.

    Reply
  8. This is so encouraging! I love how you describe it as a waltz in life and settling in the arms of Jesus. I just love that. Gonna carry that image with me. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart!

    Reply
  9. If we are living in our calling and annointing the Devil isn’t going to be pleased and will try to use any persons insecurity,pride or jealousy to tempt them. I have often been accused of not compying with church and womens minstry coordinators because I did something the Lord laid on my heart,opened my home and ministered to someone as the Holy Spirit led me with great fruit. I thought I was being obedient but they saw it as uncooperative. I’ve just learned to shake it off. I don’t feel any level of responisibility to try to mend anything because a person who does this is usually functioning out of a religuos spirit that is ver territorial. The Spirit of Christ is alwayys pleased at the advancement of God Kingdom. The only exception to this would be if someone has a valid concern about a ministry or if wrong things are happeneing the Lord will often send a servant to correct. This is not jealousy its accountability. Just my experiences.

    Reply
  10. THANK YOU for sharing! I had a similar situation – a woman sent me an email numerous months ago trying to calm things between us from a spat on both our parts. Recently I was told by more than one person (even on her ministry team) that she was bad mouthing me – and my ministry. Even a copy of a skype chat was sent to me.

    I felt so disgusted but every time I fire up the computer remind myself I am not doing this for anyone but HIM – and only because HE put it on my heart – and what HE wants to accomplish. Definitely not to promote myself or make myself great. And that disgust turned to pity as I started praying for this woman because it was obvious she felt competition and jealousy when she should be working together to help the people that both cross our paths.

    What you said, “do not let it become a distraction to you” has been the best thing I’ve been able to do and I pray to keep those blinders on and my eyes on what HE wants me to do! THANK YOU!!

    Reply
    • Stef,that must hard. It is commendable for you to pray for someone who has hurt you….that you not bring other people into the mix to belittle the other person, but to work it out between you. It is unfortunate that while this other person was trying to work through their own hurt, they shared it with others, who in turn felt the need to then send it to you….thus creating more problems, rather than allowing the hurt to disolve. This passage recently came to my eyes…. Proverbs 26:20 Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.

      I’ve been hurt by others and I have hurt others. I am trying so hard to be more open to true forgivness to seek reconciliation, because I have no choice and no right not to. Jesus died on the cross for all….so, what right do I have to hold a grudge or to become angry at anyone….

      It is so hard when people keep bringing things to you…to keep the quarrel from dying down. It is hard not to look to others for vengance….but to remember that God will take care of us and heal us. It is so important not to lash out in any shape/form/fashion…..because if it keeps coming back, then you have to wonder….is there something other than jealousy….is it perhaps a reaction to actions or thoughts sought to find justification?

      I don’t know…don’t really know what you’re talking through here…just replying to you because I have been on the other end, am on the other end….and know that I am judged and have been talked about…..and that makes it fester and hurt in my soul.

      Reply
  11. I think this is sad….because I think we all face and encounter jealousy at different times. Perhaps someone is jealous of us….or we are jealous of someone. The person who is jealous may have been made to feel inferior, or misunderstood something at some point. Or, they may just be going through a tough time in life……I say this because I have had my own jealousies and recently reached out to someone I had forgiven or thought I had forgiven of a past issue…..yet, the past kept creeping into my heart, causing bitterness and jealousy. I reached out to that person, admitted my sin and had the door slammed in my face. So, my heart is on my sleeve…I weep for those who are jealous. I weep even more for those who can’t admit that they,themselves have been jealous of someone or something…..

    Jealousy over a ministry or other situations….it’s not necessarily the situation, it’s the person…someone hurting….someone who needs to be loved….just like the rest of the world.

    Before you judge them too harshly. Before you think the worst about them and try to pull the plank out of their eye…remember, we are all sinners. We all have our problems….and Jesus died for all of us.
    Maybe reaching out to that person and bringing them into the fold may heal a hurt that you may never know existed.

    Reply
  12. The difficult thing in these situations, once we get hold of our feelings as a result of feeling attacked, is to know when to attempt reconciliation or explanation or even confrontation—and when to hold our peace. I’ve been in situations where I just took a step back, prayed for the other person, and left it alone, and in places where I tried to address the issue. Being attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit is most important, to know when to take a stand and when to leave it alone.

    Reply
  13. Isn’t it terrible that we have to discuss this issue at all! But sadly, I would imagine that if you have been in ministry very long at all, you have been on the receiving and/or the giving end of this topic.
    I love the application of this scripture. I like to think God is telling us, “If you can let it go – just let it go.” There are just so many other real problems and needs in the world.
    Over the last few years God has really blessed our family in ministry and given us more responsibility. As a result, our long time friend and mentor has pulled away from us, and has kind of cut off our friendship. It has been very hurtful, and what was a warm friendship has now become a casual acquaintance. But we must press on & chose to “live peaceably.” We hope God will help him see that the success of our ministry is not an affront to his and that God can use us both.

    Reply
  14. I was just discussing this with my granddaughters, that no matter how nice and sweet and loving they are, sooner or later they will run up against a jealous person who will say and do things that hurt them. It is how we react to those around us that matter. It is sad, but I went through a similar thing at work recently, however, I was stabbed in the back by someone from my church who I felt was an amazing person. The reason? They were worried I was going to take over their job…

    Reply
  15. Sue- I so hear every word of this entry and with perfect timing as usual.
    Romans 12:18…yes this very verse, was a topic of discussion at our Ladies Meeting tonight. It is a problem we all face at sometime and like Mel mentioned, I’ve been on both sides, not proudly.

    Thank you for posting this situation and much love to you.

    Jenn

    Reply
  16. <<<<<<<<<<<<<I've been having an issue of woman in the church being jealous of me! i feel that they feel threatened by me in some way, im a very quiet person, respectful and very outgoing, people who know me will tell you i am a very humble person, kind and giving, I love the Lord with all my heart, recently ive returned to church from going astray, but im seeking God now more than ever, why is this happening to me? If I have never been hateful or rude, or disrespectful I just honestly feel like they dont like me, i dont understand>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> at first it didnt bother me, i was not put on this earth to please anyone, but now after weeks of the same attitude of these people it is starting to get very annoying, it is making me wanna just throw in the towel and say goodbye to my music ministry and this church~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~??????

    Reply
  17. This post is just perfect for me because I am a victim of this.  I am now at the depth of this hurtful experience.  Iam really in search of answers on how I could deal with this and how I could understand why there is a ministry jealousy right at the center of God's kingdom? And those who carry this killing atttitude are the leaders whom you work with.  I read all the comments that were sharedhere  and they helped me understand and learn on how to deal with this dilemma with wisdom, peace and love. 

    Most of the experiences shared here were more of their women's ministries…but my struggle is on handling a discipleship ministry of teen girls in our church.  I am a pastor's wife and my husband gave me this beautiful ministry of teaching and discipling the female youth .  I love this ministry! I am so passionate about it since I myself was molded from this kind of ministry.  And I owe it so much from it that it gave me a deep love in serving God all my life.  In leading this group, The Lord has given me surmountable visions and a mission to build these young girls to be effective instruments in His kingdom.

     Our disipleship group is growing and all that we are doing are connectd with the mission of our group. I nestled trainings and encouragement so that they could go out from their shells and carry confidence to shine for Jesus. I carried on projects and gave them tasks so that they could realized that they were part of the success even as a youth.

    But as these things are unfolding…. I am beginning to feel something… I  felt and discerned  hotty eyes around us.  And I see no joy in them with our victories.  And in some occassions, I witnnessed how they would try to cut-off the our fellowships and even suggested to cancel it.  They even gave comments like  we are dividing the bond of the boys and the girls, that we are consuling too much time being together.  That is fact we are just meeting only for 2 hours every Sunday, the designated time for discipleship group to huddle. Sadly to say that these jealous schemes and untruthful comments are coming from the youth leaders of our church themselves.

    Speaking from the outside… these leaders are not doing well in handling our youth group as a whole.  Much as I would like to be their adviser, I cant because I was not given an authority to do so.  I dont like to be a ministry entruder.  But I would really love to help them. And with this, I am channeling my help through my discipleship group since they are also members of their ministries by encouraging them to cooperate with their leaders, be good stewards, love the work f the Lord..  But…. in the end…. these leaders judged me as an antagonist.

    I felt so saddened and disheartened because they took the growth of this female teen group as a threat to their ministries.  They could not understand that each ministry is different and that the growth of one is the growth of all.  We belong in the body of Christ. We are one…. we serve as a church, we serve GOD.       

    I was heaved to know that I am not alone…and I learned so much from all you shared.  Thank you.  Yes, I know, it is a battle but the battle is of the Lord.  I prayed and still praying for God's assurance of my call on this ministry as I continue on with this journey as a discipler.  

    I pray that all clouded perceptions will be cleared and these youth leaders will come to realize how I care for the youth and the growth of our discipleship group is the growth of the entire youth organization as a whole. Please pray for us and also to my pastor husband as he mediate with this issue. Thank you.

    Reply
  18. I’m in a very similar situation. My husband and I were asked to lead a ministry because the previous leader was leaving on a church plant. My husband and I have been blessed by encouragement from other members of the team. A few weeks ago our church had a ministry fair. We had 12 people sign up with interest in our ministry. We took steps to contact the volunteers and have them fill out the necessary ministry forms. Yesterday we received a disturbing email from the leader that left on the church plant. He reminded us that he is overseer of the ministry and he is to be the only person to contact potential volunteers and Pastors. He used language such as “please be advised that ….” He also asked for contact information of all the potential volunteers so that he could interview them. My response to his email was humble and asking what we did to prompt such an email. Reading all of these comments, I now believe he has a spirit of jealousy toward my husband. Recently, my husband and I read about Saul and his jealousy of David. Now, we are praying that this man realizes that God is the overseer of all ministries.

    Reply
    • God spoke to my husband and my heart today. We have been asked to meet with the leader of the ministry tomorrow. We plan to attend with a humble teachable spirit and respect the leadership role he’s been given. God appointed him to lead us and as long as his instructions and concerns don’t hurt the ministry, we will obey.

      Reply

Leave a Reply to Joanne Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *