John 3:22-26
The Setting: Jesus baptizing & John baptizing; Rival ministries? 
There is a question with a Jew about purification = forgiveness of sins. Luke 3 says, 3 And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins…. The question then becomes, where does forgiveness come from? John the Baptist or Jesus?
John’s disciples had a problem with this other ministry; “He is baptizing and all are coming to Him.” They are thinking, this Jesus is getting more followers than we are, we are going to lose all our followers! – jealousy.
They don’t even mention the name, Jesus: He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, He is baptizing. There is rivalry brewing here – how does John handle it?
Most pastors face this. This is very natural – it happens all the time. The Baptist Church has more in their youth group than we. Churches in Lincoln are bigger and grow faster than ours. So, how do you handle it?
What is John’s response to the success of Jesus’ ministry? There are Three but I will only deal with one here.
1. Everybody Plays a Part in God’s Plan
John 3:27 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.
Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage,/ and all the men and women merely players.” This is true in the sense that God uses each of us in His program on earth. This is God’s stage, and He uses us. Rather than jealous – John is happy. John the Baptist plays his part while Jesus plays His.
John had a place in God’s program – it is passing. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John has an important part in God’s program - to present Jesus, the Son. He has done that. He has passed the baton – His part is over. Every ministry faces this fact – God uses you for a time; but on this planet, it is not forever.
I believe our problem is that we don’t really think we are players. God does great and mighty things, but elsewhere – not Jefferson County – Not in my life. Christianity is sometimes communicated this way. The David Jeremiahs and the John MacArthurs and Chuck Swindolls; these are the real ministries of God because they are big.
The truth is, most of Christianity world-wide is communicated through groups of thirty. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where, “love one another” and “tolerate” and “forgive”, and “get over it”, really makes a difference.
Bigness is one of the plagues of the mega-church. It happens and they must deal with it. But it is a problem to deal with – not the sign of success. What tends to be communicated is that ministry is happening up front on the platform. The vast majority of the people merely come to watch & even to be entertained. The message from the Pastor may be clear – Jesus Christ and Him crucified - but church and ministry is up there – not down here in the pew. Unfortunately, every church tends to communicate that - I am even called “THE MINISTER”
That is not a body – that is a freak. The preacher is not any more of the body of Christ than you are. He is just exercising his spiritual gift. Most of church happens outside these walls – with the people YOU touch. And the building is not the church – you are. 
Coffee House Ministries 
Pastor Mike McDonald