Francis Drake, Privateer

A privateer was a private warship authorized by his country to attack foreign shipping

Two visions of church. What is yours.

 6 january 09

This is a comment  which I put on another blog recently.

When asked, what is the purpose of the church, a valid answer might well be. The purpose of the church is to get people to join the church!

Churches, for the main, to me seem to be operating on “momentum” rather than actually being on a journey to any destination.

There is a game sometimes in the UK amongst college students, I presume the same is true in the USA. It is called, “let’s see how many people we can cram into a telephone box, (or mini car).
It has no real purpose other than the doing.

This seems so much like church. Even though they claim vision, which may have been taken from scripture, it is clear from any objective observation, that very little of the church programme will actually enable them to arrive at that place.

Many years ago whilst in a meeting, the Lord gave me two very vivid pictures of contrasting church styles.

Firstly I saw a well known comic strip cartoon picture of a crowd of children rolling a monster sized snowball across a snow laden school field. Any time a child got in the way or tried to change its direction he was unwittingly rolled over and picked up in the juggernaut’s progress. The cartoon picture had the occasional hand, pair of rubber boots or a frozen head sticking out. None of this halted its progress across the field, it just continued to get bigger and bigger. Woe betide anyone who felt that he had a bit of unput to give to its direction.

To me this was quite funny as I remember at junior school one winter having rolled such a ball across the field into the goal mouth, where the ball stayed many months after the freeze had gone, blocking the goal.

The other vivid picture given at the same time was of tumbleweed tearing across a dusty landscape. It was totally driven by the wind and kept changing direction with each gust. Everywhere it went seeds were scattered. It had little value in itself other than shedding seeds. It might in its end be only a little kindling fuel. The sign of its passing? A huge crop of more tumbleweed, in its season.

I have derived much illumination from this vision over the years since, but I will leave this comment with two small thoughts to ponder.

The monolithic snowball that is being built in many parts of the body only puts the members in suspended animation. Growth as a functionary of that church might be perceived, but that is not necessarily growth in Christ himself.

In contrast the tumble weed picture reminds me of John3v8
The wind blows where it will, you hear the sound of it, but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going. So is he that is born of the wind.

I can’t imagine the snowball blowing in the wind.

I challenge you to look at these two visions. Are you driven by the wind, or frozen in time. Don’t just read passively please think and comment. 


January 6, 2009 - Posted by | CHURCH, Gospel, Kingdom life, Knowing God, Leadership, Uncategorized


  1. Great revelations. For myself, I hope that I am usually the tumble weed-type, especially in this part of my life.

    What’s funny is how you had the tumble weed, blowing in the wind revelation, and I have always seen myself as an wet shirt hanging on an outdoor wash line to dry. The wind blows me whatever direction it wants to, and there is nothing that I can do about it. In America, this is know as “being hung out to dry”.

    Comment by Larry Who | January 7, 2009

  2. Aha – I recognise the ‘snowball’ kind of church. That’s where you get ‘frozen out’ of anything you want to do that doesn’t fit with what everyone else thinks you should do.

    I like to think I’m more the tumbleweed myself. At least if you’re being blown by the wind you might find yourself rolling alongside other tumbleweeds. 🙂

    Comment by Elaine | January 23, 2009

  3. Yes, I was the snowball until something just had to give, it couldn’t keep going that way any longer. The transition from snowball to what you describe is quite messy and painfull.

    Comment by wayfarerjon | February 23, 2009

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