Have you ever ventured to the harbor downtown?
Cruise ships, battle ships, The U.S.S. Midway, fishing boats and the Star of India (Circa 1863) all glide swiftly to an attentive audience of skyscrapers. No boat is superior to the other. Each has it’s own purpose.
Now, if you’ll look to the harbor with peculiar eyes, you’ll see more. Within the water, float millions of people. Some hold on to old furniture like Rose from Titanic. (“I’ll never let go Jack!”) Others tread water poorly, wondering how much longer they can keep it up.
As large boats sit majestically unmoved in the harbor, life guards sit on the decks looking out for those drowning that want help. The bigger ships struggle to see the people as they sit so high, but they do great work. Once rescued and on the deck of the large ship, many take positions inside, helping the boat to run. Others go inside for warmth, food and perhaps entertainment. A dedicated few sit on the deck, remembering the one who pulled them out of the water, remembering the terror they felt as the wakes crashed upon them. They who remember, continue to throw down lifesavers.
Down below the decks of the large ships sits a different type of boat. We call them Church plants. Sometimes crudely or even hastily made, the Church Plant still puts pieces in place. You can see through slats at times and when wind causes the harbor to bounce, they take on water. Those aboard are forced to spend time bailing out their largely unfinished church plant. Sometimes a church plant takes on too much water and is left to the depths.
SO why board a church plant at all? It’s a silly idea this church plant, but look to the gleaming boats in the harbor, and be reminded how they too began as a small boat bailing out water for the sake of those drowning in the sea.
The church plant is small and agile. She can easily go to areas of need as the larger ships are unable to pivot like her. Those aboard also have a greater vision for the drowning. As the boat sits at eye level with soggy swimmers, it is easier to pull them aboard and welcome them into the family.
The big ships are good. However, at times people completely abandon the lookout and embrace entertainment and comfort. Soon the boat becomes weak. The integrity of the large boat begins to give and the people slowly sink into obscurity and selfishness, unaware they are descending like those they were called to save.
City Life Church takes on water. We offer little in amenities. But we are close to the action. There are holes in our façade, but when I see sunlight break through our cracks, I peak through and see the drowning, up close and there is no place I’d rather be. We have the unique opportunity to offer a hand and feel the firm grip of a renewed hope.
City Life. Our call has never been easy. But it has always been good. Throw that lifesaver over your shoulder. Grab a hammer, a bucket and let’s continue faithfully on God’s voyage together.