This past week I was over in Long Beach in eye-shot of the Queen Mary. What a magnificent ship all built to enjoy life on the high seas. You have got to love those cruise ships; every room focused on peoples enjoyment and care, every deck area filled with recreation activities and amenities, every crew member ready to wait on you hand-and-foot and to assure you will have a great time. People who ‘cruise’ are ecstatic about their adventure and tell their friends, and have even said to me, that ‘cruising’ is somewhat addictive. It sounds like a lot of fun, and oh my, the TV commercials and adds in magazines make it look so inviting…sitting on deck chairs out in the open seas, sipping lemonade while the busy crew takes good care of me. Hmmm…maybe Kristi and I ought to try it!?!
Anyway, as I was driving along thinking about cruise ships I noticed a battleship. Yes, another magnificent ship sailing the high seas, a sleek craft that voyages out on maneuvers and assignments. It is a well organized mini city, yet each person on board has a duty, their own assignment that they do with diligence, dignity, and at anytime they are called upon to serve. These duties are done so the whole ship can accomplish a greater venture under the authority of those in charge.
As I pondered these two vessels an old illustration came to mind about the local church. It seems that there is a real temptation for some to view church as more of a cruise ship where its mission is entertainment, few people have any assignments, and where folks come in and sit down waiting to be served, “I would like my lemonade shaken not stirred if you please.” Sad to say that can be some people’s view of church and so they love to ‘cruise’ trying-out different vessels and cruise liners that best fit their desires.
However, the church should be more like a battleship; where we each person has a mission within the broader mission of the ship. Sure, we have fun, but it’s more about The Commanding Officer’s (in caps because I am talking about God) will then our own where we find joy, fulfillment, purpose, and meaning living God’s unique call. On the battleship the sailors learn their duties and perform them well. They don’t try to desert their post because it could jeopardize the greater mission, nor do they try to get the whole ship to focus on their assignment, they see they are an important part of a greater undertaking.
Though this illustration breaks done some, the basic idea is a good one that the local church today should be more like a military vessel than a party boat, where we each have our customized mission within the broader mission of the church. Sure, we should have a blast serving the Lord, but it’s all about Him not us. Yes, God will care for us, and in living the journey of his unique call on my life; He will meet our needs and blesses us beyond measure.
Philippians 4:19 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
I am proud to say we as Cypress Church do see ourselves more like that battleship idea, we are not perfect but I would say we are getting more organized and efficient as we go.
So here is a question you will be exploring starting this Sunday and through out this next week; what is God’s customized mission for you within God’s mission for Cypress Church? God’s mission for Cypress Church is:
To Connect and Reconnect People to a Deeper Relationship with God
These are exciting times as people are opening up to the Lord, listening to His directions. I am praying God will reveal to you His will and encourage you to live His unique call on your life.
Journeying with you,
PS. Again a reminder about our offsite parking…if you are able, it would be a great help if you could use the Cypress High School staff lot offsite parking, especially if you come for the 10:30am service. We have had reports of guests wanting to attend our growing church, but can’t find a parking space. So let’s make the best spaces available for them and you and your friends choose to value them enough to park at Cypress High. You could help someone find the Lord or grow in their faith by simply changing the place you park. As well, we could use a bunch of friendly people whose mission would be our “Parking Ministry.” If you are interested, please contact Justin at Justin@cypresschurch.net. Thanks!