The Siburt Institute for Church Ministry exists to serve our ministry partners faithfully, creatively and effectively. Our mission is to promote constructive and collaborative relationships between churches and Abilene Christian University.

Historically, ACU has valued its partnership with churches and has sought to honor that essential relationship by serving churches and church leaders in a variety of ways.


Gaining by Losing: January 2017 e-news

J.D. Greear is the lead pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and the author of several books, including a recent one, Gaining by Losing.1 In it, he uses an analogy that is particularly graphic to me. Churches that are serious about “prevailing against the gates of hell” have a choice of how they see themselves; there are all sorts of vessels large and small that float on our seas. But the question he asks his readers is this: Is your church more like an aircraft carrier, a battleship or a cruise liner?

Then there is the cruise ship. Not much explanation necessary there. Having a good time, eating, drinking and being merry (in a Christian sort of way, of course) pretty well sums it up. Sure, there are frequent stops – for pleasure and sightseeing, but not for work.  

Now the aircraft carrier – what a different picture! Planes and helicopters are constantly coming and going. To be sure, they are geared for battle, but in recent years aircraft carriers also have served a benevolent purpose in dropping much-needed food, medical supplies and personnel into trouble spots ravaged by poverty and terror. Aircraft carriers are constantly launching somebody going somewhere, or assisting those coming in from a mission for a “safe” landing.

The church is indeed, in our limited analogy here, more like an aircraft carrier than a battleship or cruise liner.

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