A carrier does not exist for it's own sake
It's very easy to become an institution where most of the time/energy/funds go into self-preservation and self-promotion. If this was true of a carrier it would never leave the port and go out into dangerous waters.
Many churches function like that. So much of the focus can be about having good meetings and having more people. Yeah - we get that. It's helpful but it's not the end or the focus. And that's usually what happens: focus failure.
The question about a carrier is this: Does it project the power of the Kingom into the region and mission where it has been assigned? We want you to have what you need so you can represent the Kingdom of God out in your assigned area. Jesus wanted us all to go out and see things changed - for the better. We need to be about the work of the Kingdom in the setting of the world.
Members of the crew are assigned here for a time and then reassigned as needed
It's easy to think that those around you should be loyal to your ship and your assignment. But in the Kingdom of God we understand that people have pledged themselves to the King and to going where God wants them when He wants them. We still build deep relationships because we're real and open and we want to learn and to teach all we can. But we don't hold onto others like we own them or that they 'owe' us.
Those on a carrier know that every crew member is assigned for a time or season. People bring their gifts and abililties and they teach what they know and learn what they don't. But when their assigned time is up, you don't just release them - you send them off - well. They're not being disloyal to move into what's next: They've just been reassigned.
The most flexible and adaptable platform
Carriers have been used to support relief efforts, to provide protection over areas as they develop or struggle and then, at times, to go in and knock out tyrannical weapons. A carrier's presence in an area changes things and its deployment will vary from time to time, season to season. It doesn't park somewhere and just keep doing the same things over and over and over again.
The point is this: We think that in this model God wants His gathered followers to operate like a carrier. To be flexible and adaptive in what they do so they can fill the need and the assignment that He has given them. We don't compromise on how we walk out these assignments: The King requires integrity and character in all we do. But we don't mistake our current assignment as a forever dictate. He's moving foward and we're sticking with him.
Getting new assignments can be disruptive, but it's expected. As a wise friend once said, 'There's nothing so dangerous as being where God was.'
Here we go a little deeper....
The idea of an aircraft carrier as a model was something God dropped on us like a parable. That means that somone can grast the idea pretty quickly BUT it also engages our minds and our hearts and we begin to see more ways in which it applies. Below are just a few aspects that God has shown us so far.