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.