Bob MacDonald Ministries
Laying Apostolic Foundations
Bob MacDonald Ministries
Copyright BobMacDonaldMinistries 2013. All rights reserved.
cargo ships that go through the waters around British Columbia. As I
watched the program on how they navigate I realized an important
spiritual leadership lesson was being illustrated through this

The program highlighted that the shipping ports along the British
Columbia coast have ships coming from many countries around the
world. Each of the docking ports have unique characteristics and
unusual navigation challenges. To ensure safe passage as a ship
approaches these points of entry, a “pilot” who is familiar with the
local water currents, wind patterns, and the underwater land
formations is brought on board so that shipping disasters are
averted. The captain of the ship is still in charge. The pilot, with his
local experience and local knowledge, gives advice to the captain as
to how he should navigate. The master (captain) and the pilot work
together as a team to bring the ship to the destination. The master
gives the orders on the advice of the pilot.

The application to us as church leaders is that Jesus Christ is the
Captain and Master of our churches and ministries. Yet Jesus has
invited us to be in partnership with Him to give leadership. Jesus has
not asked us merely to be like robots, looking for specific directions
for every single circumstance. I have asked the Lord on several
occasions, “What way should we go?” and I heard Him say, “There is
no right or wrong in this case, but what ever you can make

Jesus has invited us to use our local knowledge and experiences
along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit to bring direction. Just as
the ship pilot that has been invited onto the ship does not have
complete charge of the ship, neither do we have complete charge of
the church. It is not our ship! Jesus is the Captain and we want to be
reflecting His desires. However, as we give leadership, the Holy Spirit
will use our spiritual gifts, heart passion, abilities, personality and
education to create a unique expression of the church for the
environment and context in whichwe are called to minister. It is
through this partnership that Jesus will direct us to lead the church
into the unique mandate that He has given for us in the region we
are located.

There are certain basic purposes for the church that we should all
be working on to develop more fully. (See Rick Warren’s book, “The
Purpose Driven Church” for an explanation of the five purposes of
the church.) I believe that Christ also gives each ministry and church
a mandate (calling, assignment) to emphasize certain expressions of
Jesus that no one else around will fill.

From this unique mandate, we understand how we fit into the larger
picture with other ministries to form the complete expression of
Jesus. We realize we are not in competition with other ministries. We
recognize that they are also moving in the unique mandate that  
Christ has given them. Together we express more fully the Body of
Christ. I think this is why we see such a wonderful variety within the
body of Christ.

Let’s not try to copy someone else or their ministry. In doing that we
would be denying the way our Creator created us and desires to use
us when He called us. Let’s use all the gifts, passion, abilities,
personality and education that Christ has guided us through in our
life to work alongside the Master, in partnership with Him. Together
we will guide the ship (church) into the destination that He desires.
Seek the Lord for the unique mandate He has for you, the church
and the ministry.

Work with the Master/Captain (Jesus Christ) for the blend of your
“advice” and His orders.