Battleship to Aircraft Carrier
Sunday we unpacked J.D. Greear's concept of what a cruise ship mentality is and how often it negatively impacts the church. God's plan for his church is that it would be less like a cruise ship and more like a Battle ship. Greear goes even one step further in claiming that for the church to truly be all she can be, we must move past battleship to the idea of being an aircraft carrier; in the battle, but deploying people into the battle.
I love this! His illustration perfectly describes that kind of equipping and sending church The Ransom Church wants to be and the direction we are choosing to go. However, one thing that can not only hold up progress, but can ultimately be very dangerous is when the church is an aircraft carrier full of cruise ship passengers- along for the ride, but not really ready to jump into the fray, not willing to be sent out on mission. Let me ask you this question:
Are you aware what you signed up for?
When you put your faith in Jesus Christ and became part of the body of Christ, did you understand you are now a soldier in the greater battle against sin and darkness? You are now part of God's great rescue mission. But it can be very dangerous when soldiers aren't acting like soldiers. What I am about to share is in no way original to me. I wish I knew who to give the credit to, I just don't remember where I first saw it. In 2 Timothy, Paul is admonishing his student, Timothy, who has taken leadership of a church, sharing what it means to be a "good soldier". Paul writes:
Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. (2 Timothy 2:3-4 NLT)
In other words, it is displeasing to God when those of us who are on this kingdom mission with Him (all believers) get so caught up in the things of this world that we forget our part in the battle. In the body of Christ, according to Paul, there are apparently some "soldiers" who are living like "Civilians."
Some are A.W.O.L (Absent without Leave): They are not currently fulfilling their duty, but have good intentions of returning to them at some point. But right now, not so much.
Some are Deserters: They have, if you will, "abandoned their post." The difference here is they have no intention of returning. We have an entire generation known as the NONES who are doing just that. Unfortunately, there are some who began to walk with the Lord and made the conscious decision to turn away from Him.
Some are M.I.A (Missing in Action): This is a classification for those who are reported missing during active service. Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ seem to be gone and we don't really know what happened. Are you writing them off or are you looking for them?
Some are P.O.W's (Prisoners of War): They fought the good fight, but at some point let their guard down and are now held captive by the enemy. Perhaps they didn't put on the full armor of God. Whatever the case, they are lost.
But as dangerous as all of these are, I recently came across another term that scares me the most. Every term above indicates those who were at one time involved, but now are not. They have become part of our rescue mission. Far more dangerous though is this last category:
Some are Jobniks: A Jobnik is a derogatory term used to describe someone who is in the Army now, but is not doing very much. They are noncombatant recruits who coast through their military service. And what hinders the church and makes her ineffective is when in the midst of the battle, the soldiers on the deck are Jobniks, acting less like soldiers and more like cruise ship passengers just along for the ride. The soldiers are attempting to push through the Jobniks as they ignore the people drowning just beyond the ledge of their lounge chairs.
Listen: The Ransom Church is going to be an aircraft carrier. That's not going to change. The question is, will you take up your call to serve? To give? To go? To disciple? To be sent? We exist to set captives free. It is our mission and that has not changed. Will you take up your call and join us on that mission?