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Cruise Ship or Battleship? By Quigg Lawrence

“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43b-45

Almost 10 years ago, my wife Annette and I went on a cruise. The ship was awesome. We found ourselves in a beautiful, well appointed mega-yacht, folks waited on us hand and foot, a spa was available, as well as an unlimited supply of food and drink. On a cruise, you find yourself somewhere different every day and you visit interesting ports like Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, St. Maarten, Curacao, St. John, etc.

Last week I met with some church planters including a young church planter from a different denomination who is planting a new church in Southeast Roanoke. This young pastor made the comment that “a church is made to be like a battleship, not a cruise ship!” Hmmm? He went on to explain what people expect on cruise ships: total pampering, room service, massages, 5 star meals, expensive day trips at the ports of call, entertainment, etc. Then he contrasted that mindset with what our military receives and expects.

When you are on a battleship:

– you do not get to decide when you eat or what you eat.

– no one pulls your fresh bed linens back.

– no chocolate is placed on your pillow.

– no balcony view exists.

– no concierge or room valet is provided.

– you have no ability to determine where you are headed.

– you cannot get off the ship every two days.

– no relaxing day excursions are planned.

He made the application that the church is effective when we are in battleship mode and have a military mentality. To say it another way, church is effective when we view church and our faith as a mission and a service to God and others and not as nice life enhancement activity or a weekly get away.

I am thrilled that so many of Church members in Roanoke exemplify that concept. You really understand that “your life is not your own” and you have been “bought with a price.” You embrace your call to glorify and serve the Lord with a grateful heart. Jesus humbled Himself and lived totally for the glory of His Father. No ego, no “self” and no agenda but His Father’s drove Him.

Jesus said that when we lose our life for His sake, we will find it! If you are continually asking what the church can do to serve you or finding fault from the sidelines, you may want to call your travel agent and book a Christian cruise!

Dr. R. Quigg Lawrence is the Senior Pastor at Church of the Holy Spirit located at 6011 Merriman Road in Roanoke. Visit them on the web at

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