On Saturday past I went on a church outing to the annual Portrush Air Show, the grand finale to the summer events here in Northern Ireland. The crowd was well entertained all day long with displays and stunts from various air planes, the highlight for most being the Red Arrows display team from the RAF. But the one display that caught my attention was the air-sea rescue mission.
The scenario was a body had been swept away by the waves into the open sea and a coordinated rescue by a Coastguard helicopter and an RNLI lifeboat was launched to save this soul from drowning. It got me thinking – here is all this hardware, worth a couple of million pounds, manned by two well equipped and trained crews – not to mention the personnel in the control centre all working together to save one person from death and look at the church. It’s a rescue mission here on earth, fulfilling its primary purpose of saving souls. But is it keeping them saved? So many within its ranks are struggling, getting pounded by waves all day long, drowning in pornography, self-harming, filled with unforgiveness, bitterness, etc. The Church is as well equipped and maintained as any rescue organisation, the only difference is that we don’t pull our resources together. We don’t network and work as well with each other as the world does. It’s time to get out of our denominations and look at the church as a whole body and not as separate parts.