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Churches Are Not Christian Cruise Ships


Is it possible that your church isn’t a perfect fit for everyone?

Everyone is welcome, but maybe another church might meet their unique and individual needs better. That’s not a thought that is easily embraced.

Can you say “no” to someone even if it potentially results in them leaving your church?

Learning to balance the natural tension of loving and caring for people but not allowing someone to leverage their personal agenda or hijack the vision of your church is part of the leader’s responsibility.

This is a tough issue and requires artful leadership. As shepherds we hate to have even one person leave, but sometimes it’s OK, and maybe it’s best for that person.

The church was never designed to be a Christian cruise ship. I’ve been on a couple cruises and loved them. They are a ton of fun! The great cruise lines exist to please the customers anyway they can, to create a great memory in the context of an enjoyable and safe vacation.

The church was not designed to please everyone.

Any one approach to preaching or style of worship can’t make everyone happy. It’s not possible. Your approach to student ministry won’t connect with every parent. Hey, your choice of coffee can make some people unhappy.

In fact, the church was never designed to answer all of life’s questions, it was ordained to answer the one question about eternal life. Yes, through Scripture the church brings wisdom to our lives, but it points to a relationship with Jesus.

If your church did everything your attendees want, it would no longer be the church they love.


If you attempt to accommodate every voice along with their idea and plan for the church, you will have lost your God-intended identity and vision, and therefore, also the divine thumbprint He has placed upon you.