I recently retired (I prefer re-fired!) as the lead pastor at a church by the name of Whitewater Crossing Christian Church.
If that church (or yours) was a ship, what kind would it be? The S.S. Whitewater. It’s not a canoe. It’s not a pirate ship (I hope!) What kind of ship is she?
Well, the church is a love boat – because we show a lot of love. It’s also a fishing boat – because we are always fishing for men (like Jesus did).
But I think a better analogy might be a battleship. A mighty force moving forward on a mission for God in enemy waters. Battleship churches are designed to empower all members to find their God-given mission in life, to equip them, and then to send them on missions all around the world to reach and serve those far from Jesus. On a battleship, everyone has a captain, fellow shipmates, and a post/assignment. Unlike a cruise ship where you sit and soak (and eat a lot!), on the battleship you do the serving.
One author said that there are four kinds of passengers aboard every church ship. Passengers to nurture and challenge. Crew members to equip and empower. Stowaways to find and convert. And Pirates to confront and eliminate. (Make ’em walk the plank!)
What kind of passenger are you these days? What mentality do you have as a member of that church? Cruise ship, fishing ship, battleship? Jesus knows and others can tell! One author said that people who attend “cruise ship churches,” much like cruise ship passengers, often come to be entertained and catered to by the staff. Very little is expected of these church attendees. In fact, they tend to rate the quality of their experience—the music, the sermon, and the way it made them feel—much as cruise ship passengers rate their satisfaction with various aspects of their trip.
Thinking about it more, a church working right does indeed practice worship, fellowship, stewardship, discipleship, membership, and leadership! You have quite a few ships in your fleet! Cast a bold vision to your shipmates to join Jesus for the voyage of a lifetime into uncharted waters for God!