First United Presbyterian Church

Is FUPC a Rowboat or a Sailboat?

You might have been hearing about sailing and sailboats from church leaders, and you might have been wondering what exactly those references mean.

Joan Gray wrote a book called Sailboat Church: Helping Your Church Rethink Its Mission and Practice which made a distinction between a rowboat church and a sailboat church. FUPC elders read this book a couple of years ago and committed to making FUPC a sailboat church.

In a rowboat church, people focus on working hard with their own resources. We try to get from one place to another through hard work and we see our own resources as the limits of the church. How much money can we raise? How many people can we persuade to row along with us?

A sailboat church lets the mighty wind of God’s spirit fill the sails. We still have to do the work of sailing, but we know that “With God nothing is impossible.” (Luke 1:37). We trust God to provide the power we need to get from one place to another.

As we work on the ten-year goals for FUPC, we are striving to set sail and catch the wind. We hope that every member of the church will get on board with the process. We’ve seen how much we can do even during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have much to celebrate. And we have much to look forward to.

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