I just heard Mike Huckaby at Cedarville University and he used an illustration that I thought was outstanding. He said he owns a boat. It is a nice boat with a powerful motor that he is very proud of and he has even taken it up to 83 miles per hour to some of his favorite fishing spots… However he made this point, what if we had a nice boat and because we didn’t want to dirty it or put wear on the engine we place it in a very nice storehouse. In fact the idea catches on and others bring their nice boats to the very nice warehouse. In fact the idea grows and the people meet at the warehouse to talk about boats and tell stories about boats and even sing songs about boats. Then, after they have expanded the warehouse because of all the people coming to place their boats in it, they bring in people to share stories of what boats are actually doing. They are actually placing their boats in the water and getting them dirty and they are telling amazing stories of what those boats are doing. Those storytellers are called missionaries. They are the ones going out and getting dirty doing the work of the Lord. The people who are storing their clean boats in the storehouses are those who only attend church but are afraid to live their lives for purpose and doing the work of the Lord and are willing to settle for hearing stories of what God is doing out there in the world but not willing to partake in the dirty work of mixing it up.
Our church needs to be a place, not for the neat and tidy, but for those who have been out there mixing it up in the world and letting their light shine. They get bruised, bloodied and dirty. They limp back into their gathering because they need to worship. They need to have others wrap their arms around them and say, you may fall but not on my watch – I’ve got your back! They need to hear a message straight from God and His Word. So, let’s get out of the boathouses and get in the water and get a little dirty!