Clarifying the Ships

by Mark Entzminger/ March 4, 2019

Clarifying the Ships

I had this thought the other day about knowing the value of different “ships.” Each ship has a different purpose, and if, as the captain, you are on one ship but think you are on another, you could be in for a disaster.

Consider the following light-hearted thoughts about the influence and position you hold.


Being the captain of the leader-ship is generally identified being responsible to set the direction, and provide instructions to the shipmates. But while this is part of the role, keep in mind that those who are on the leader-ship also have the responsibility to care for and equip those who are on the journey with them.

Captains have a choice of giving specific instructions to “do this” or “do that” or they can cast the vision for life on the open seas and watch how their crew steps up and gets the work done.


Captains of the owner-ship may be more emotionally attached to the ship because of the  time and sweat invested into getting moving toward the desired destination.

Those who captain this ship are usually the founders of the ministry, those who began the work, or the visionary behind what’s being done.

When you identify owner-ship, you’ll be able to see why some  are more passionately attached to success than others.


The apprentice-ship is nothing to be feared. In reality, it’s a position we should all crave no matter what journey we are on. You see, in apprentice-ship you are focused on learning. You willingly surrender what you think you know to a mentor, someone who will pour their insights into you and cause you to grow.

Many people resist this ship because it can feel very uncomfortable. But the reality is, if captains are never willing to regularly submit to the apprentice-ship, they may find themselves alone on the high seas with no crew.


Of all the ships, the steward-ship can be the most confusing. This is because it feels a bit like all the previous ships combined. The captain of the steward-ship must have the vision of the leader-ship, the personal commitment of the owner-ship, and the willingness to submit to the apprentice-ship.

You see, those in charge of the steward-ship must call on all their abilities to lead with the heart of the owner. To do this requires constant learning and revision to stay on target.


Although this is not a ship anyone would want to be a part of, captains who confuse what ship they are on are risking having to go down with the ship for one reason or another.



In your ministry, what ship are you on?

In what areas are you captain of the leader-ship?

Where might you find yourself at the helm of the owner-ship?

Have you signed up regularly for a journey on apprentice-ship?

Do you have the strength for the high seas aboard steward-ship?


Know your ship. The destination is too valuable to be confused!