There we were, floating out into the Corpus Christi Bay on Mike Reuter’s three man inflatable raft with nothing but our little plastic paddles to bring us back home. Mike and Spencer, our incredibly tall friend, were at the front with me in the back. As they paddled hard out away from the dock I relaxed comfortably behind them. Then, when we were about 50 yards away from land I had a wonderfully terrible idea…
Let the air out of the raft & watch the world burn
Water instantly began coming over the sides of the raft. The cause of the trouble was lost on Mike and Spencer as they tried desperately to dump the water out of the raft. I quickly abandoned ship, knowing it was hopeless, and swam back to the dock. I arrived just in time to see the last bit of the yellow raft sink below the surface. It took Mike and Spencer about 15 minutes to swim back with the heavy, water-logged raft in tow.
Why did that story come flooding (see what I did there) back to mind today?
Well, I’ll tell you…every church/team/organization that is trying to get somewhere significant has a hard journey ahead of them. It is especially difficult when you have the wrong people in the boat with you. What are the characteristics of the wrong people:
- Content to stay close to shore. There are uncharted waters out there that need exploring! You are never going to get there if you are only interested in staying comfortable. Following God, or following the significant, is uncomfortable. It takes some risk. Those who are unwilling to risk are anchors to the goals.
- Watch others do the paddling. I mean this in the nicest way possible. If you aren’t new, but you aren’t serving, then you aren’t Awestruck. We aren’t interested in being a ferry taking you from here to there while you sit in your car.
- Undermine the stability of the raft. Gossiping about people in the church or actively creating factions is one of the worst things you can do. God hates that.
- Abandon ship. There are good reasons to leave a church…there just aren’t as many as most people think. One of the most frustrating things to hear as a pastor is, “God is calling me to another church”. It’s not impossible that this might happen, but I seriously doubt God cares which church people don’t contribute to. Usually the people who are quick to jump out of the raft are the ones who weren’t paddling hard into the uncharted waters. It makes sense. If an individual doesn’t have ownership with what is happening in the church it’s easy to leave.
There are a lot of reasons a church (or a team) might fail, but these fit my metaphor so there ya go!
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