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Learn How to Determine if You Are A Sail or A Rudder?

Recently, I felt a Holy Spirit inspired unction to go for a drive. I knew I was supposed to find something. I just wasn’t for sure of what I was looking for… Only knowing my destination, I set off for the nearest Barnes and Noble. I was certain God had something he wanted me to search for. And, on that note, I will forever believe that God loves a good game of hide and seek, as God taught us about His secret place in Psalm 91 and Jesus encouraged our pursuit as recorded in Matthew 7:7, “Seek and you shall find…”

I invested over an hour into the drive to Barnes and Noble and an even more extended time into sifting through the bookstore shelves. From section to section, I maneuvered through the store. Finally, I knew I was holding what I was supposed to find in my hands. It turned out to be a book by a Kentucky native. I was captivated. I had read this author’s books before. Maybe even this particular book in its earlier form, but this time I knew I was destined for a God-moment as I flipped the pages. Heaven was going to be manifest. Intensely reading, my search moving from shelves to pages, the vastness of the space disappeared, and all distractions were removed. I was among people but alone. I read chapter after chapter, hearing God’s voice communicate new directives for my life through the pen of this author, RT Kendall.

Rev. Kendall is originally from eastern Kentucky. From the humble beginnings of Ashland, he rose to prominence on the international scene of the Church. Leading Westminster Chapel in London for 25 years, he authored more than fifty books and became a prominent voice on many subjects. Recently one of his works from the 1990s was re-released in a new package and contained an updated foreword. The foreword is captured me intentionally and anchored my thoughts for our most recent series, The Silent Divorce, as it provides a profound insight illustratively into the current state of the Church and the new for us to be Word and Spirit Christians. Here is that foreword in almost its entirety…

WHEN JESUS SAID the Holy Spirit was like the wind, He was teaching us that Christianity is a bit like sailing a boat. The powerful presence of the blowing wind fills a sail and drives a boat toward its destination. Without the wind, a boat lacks all power, and rather than driving forward, remains lifeless, stuck, and dead in the water.

It is the steadiness of a rudder that keeps a boat on course, driving forward by harnessing and focusing all the power of the wind for a purpose. Without a rudder, a boat has power but veers off course until it is lost, eventually crashing into rocks and sinking.

Some churches are sail churches, and some Christians are sail Christians. They are open to and filled by the powerful presence of the wind of the Spirit. They excel at such things as prayer and worship as they exercise power in spiritual war, driving the kingdom of God forward through the stormy seas of this dark and dying demonic world.

Some churches are rudder churches, and some Christians are rudder Christians. Like a rudder, they are focused on staying on course and not getting blown off course by every wind of false teaching. They excel at such things as doctrine and theology as they engage their mind in deep Bible study, seeking to follow God’s directions obediently.

Sadly, sail churches and Christians and rudder churches and Christians often criticize one another rather than collaborating. The sails accuse the rudders of being dead, unspiritual, small-minded, powerless, and passionless. The rudders accuse the sails of being too emotional, off course, and dangerous… Today Christianity exists on a sea of trouble as the world grows darker and waves swell higher. More than ever, we need the power of the Spirit focused by the truth of the Word so that we can safely get to the harbor Jesus has waiting for us…(1)

To learn more on this subject, check out Pastor Eric's message Blaming Others of Building Rudders.


1.) Mark Driscoll, Founding Senior Pastor, The Trinity Church, Author of Spirit-Filled Jesus Kendall, R.T. Word and Spirit: Truth, Power, and the Next Great Move of God (pp. xi-xii). Charisma House. Kindle Edition.

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This is so true!!! Great word. Thanks for sharing, I’ll check out this author

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