Shared Priorities of General Aviation and Ministry

by Jim on April 21, 2014


Ministry Encouragement Podcast – Episode #089 – 4-20-14

Your Host: Rev. Jim W. Hollis  /  Sponsored by Proactive Ministries (

Hello and welcome to the 89th episode of the Ministry Encouragement Podcast.  I trust that your week has been going well?  Thank you so much for joining me for another time of sharing and encouragement concerning ministry.  This week (Holy Week) has definitely been one of the most memorable of my life.  Jan, my beautiful wife of nearly 39 years had some heart issues this week and after two nights in the Critical Care Unit received surgery and a new Pace Maker.  We were both deeply moved by the immense prayer support from many of you from around the world.  Facebook and other Social Media related a widespread caring and compassion that made it much easier to get through the jungle of the immense unknown and staring at the possibility of not returning to good health.

Jan is back home, recovering nicely and I’m trying to keep her from doing too much physical activity for a couple of weeks following the surgery.  Thank you so much for your continued prayers, emails, texts, phone calls and other expressions of your caring for her and us.  It has made an immense difference!

This week I want to return with a creative and unusual topic of:

Shared Priorities of General Aviation and Ministry

Part of my educational experience in my undergraduate, college years was to receive aviation training to become a Private Pilot.  Over a period of three years I earned my wings as a Private Pilot with single engine and multi-engine ratings.  I also completed IFR training and received an Instrument Flight rating, allowing me to fly general aviation aircraft in instrument only weather conditions.  I was fortunate and blessed to have had excellent Instructors.  The Flight School I graduated from was run primarily by retired United States Navy Pilots who were hard as nails and serious about nothing less than ultimate safety and competency in the cockpit of an aircraft.

First there was Ground School, learning all about the basics of Flight and Aircraft.  Really important lessons like “Straight & Level” and “Principles of Flight” seemed boring at first but quickly became a strong foundation for moving from the classrooms to the cockpits.  As a pilot in training you learn many things intellectually as facts and then you experience them in flight – two very different encounters of the same reality.  After nearly 40 years in full time ministry I have spent several weeks reflecting on some of the shared priorities of General Aviation and how they relate directly to Ministry.  There are several that parallel nicely.

Just as Pilots learn many principles of the basics of aviation in Ground School intellectually and as facts prior to experiencing them in actual flight while sitting in a cockpit, there are clear carry-overs to ministry.

Many people who first learn about the Christian Faith and Ministry learn it intellectually and as a set of facts.  At this point it can seem very simple and clear – almost child-like information.  And in reality in some ways it is just that – simple enough for a child to understand.  As long as a person does not stop with that limited, intellectual view of Christian Faith and Ministry – that’s very well.  However, we are clearly called by God to move to experience Christian Faith and Ministry in the spiritual dimension – PERSONALLY in our heart and soul – not just in our head.

It is at this point that we come to meet the Risen, Living Christ who lived a sinless life as man on this earth through the Incarnation (God taking on humanity to live among us out of infinite, Divine Love for us).  He was born in a manger as a baby to simple parents and grew up a carpenter’s son.  At twelve he confounded the Temple Priests with his questions and understanding and continued his own calling from the Father to be in ministry for three or more years, probably living to around his mid to late thirties before dying on a cross out of love for all of us, even those who had not been born – taking upon himself the price of all the sins of the world – past, present and future – and after the most horrible death ever experienced, three days later he rose victorious from the tomb and the dead, and walked out in Glory as the Living, Resurrected Christ.

Wow!  That’s just a short summation of Gospel of our Lord.  He lives forever and has sent to us the one he called, the Comforter, The Holy Spirit who has come to lead us into all Truth and empower us beyond salvation in Christ to serve as Disciples in ministry for the transformation of the world through the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

So how does all this immense joy and amazing grace relate back to General Aviation?  Maybe you think I got lost along the way about relating it with flying?  While aviation pales by comparison in terms of fulfillment and blessings, there are three important Priorities that those who are in ministry with Christ share with excellent pilots who fly and responsible for all souls on board an aircraft under their command.

Aviation Priority #1: AVIATE first, all else follows

Aviation Priority #2: NAVIGATE second, all else – other than AVIATE, follows

Aviation Priority #3: COMMUNICATE third, only after insuring that one is flying the plane (aviation) and staying on the course (navigation) before worrying about talking to anyone else.

And now, let me explain…


Again, thanks for joining me for another Episode.  Please feel encouraged in ministry and may I further motivate you to share this podcast with those you know and love.  You can send them the LINK for the podcast which they can simply go to in their browser:

Or contact me personally with any questions you may have about ministry.  I’m always delighted to hear from you in one of the following ways:

My Email:

Ministry Offices in Smyrna, GA, USA: (770) 803-9988  or  FAX: (770) 803-9989

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Until our next adventure of encouragement together, please keep our podcast community and me in your prayers!  And if you have prayer requests, please communicate them to me.

In Christ,


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John Rock January 15, 2016 at 9:30 am

Hi Jim, Thank you so much for your work. I appreciate being reminded of the priorities of the faith and I needed the reminding at this time. Thanks, John


Jim March 12, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Thanks for your note John. My prayers are that you will act on these priorities, something we all work to do. You may wish to take a look at a new spiritual growth group we started recently on a site called, It’s for folk who love or interested in RVing with other Christians. The link is:


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