There is a video making the rounds in church circles — and especially in church planting circles. The video basically raises the question of which is a better metaphor for the church — cruise ship or battleship?
The battleship is on a mission — under a commander who is focused on a noble purpose and is leading those who follow him to victory.
Too often we tend to “sell” accepting Christ as Savior as a ticket to the cruise ship. We downplay the battle of dealing with Satan and his forces. We talk much of what a wonderful life we have in Christ (which is true) but seldom do we emphasis the mission of making disciples and doing battle with the darkness of this world, both in our personal lives and in bringing others out of the grip of sin and death.
Jesus reminds us himself that we are to count the cost, put our hand to the plow without looking back, take up our cross…..
Francis Chan talks about how American Christians often pray for safety — but seldom pray for strength and being faithful.
Part of the danger of being a church in a free society with the kind of wealth we have in North America is that too much emphasis is made on comfort. If all the comforts and tech gadgets prominent in our American churches are “necessary” — how do you explain the growth of churches in third world nations?
While Jesus did promise us life and life more abundantly — he also warns us that we also must take up our cross. In our disciple making it is vital to give a balanced picture.