I'm a pretty big fan of J.D. Greear's preaching and writing. He's always practical and has some really strong illustrations. In his book, Gaining by Losing: Why the Future Belongs to the Church that Sends, he discusses the three kinds of churches that people tend to attend. And he compares all three to ships, which I think is pretty spot on. Do you want to know those three ships? Here you go.
1. Cruise Liner
Cruise liner churches offer luxurious fun for everyone. Mom, dad, kids, singles. Whatever season of life, you can find an event for you. Sunday mornings are complete with child care and networking opportunities. Who needs Norwegian Cruise Line when you have these kinds of churches?
Battleship churches sing Onward Christian Soldiers every Sunday. They are in a battle. They are taking the fight to the enemy. The church has a mission, and its success depends on how big, loud, and dramatic it is as it fights that mission.
3. Aircraft Carrier
Aircraft carriers take another approach to battles. Rather than fight the fight on their turf, aircraft carriers equip men and women to carry the battle to other places. That sounds like the Great Commission to me, right?
Greear argues that successful churches and churches that will last into the future are aircraft carriers. They are churches that equip men and women for the work of ministry and send them out to do the work. They don't hoard resources, rather they encourage those they equip to do what the Great Commission says..."Go!"
Question: What kind of church do you lead/attend?