Walkin' on the water
"Jesus made the disciples get into the boat..." Not in John, but hnagkasen (made/forced/compelled) is in both Matthew and Mark. Being out in the boat on rough waters was Jesus' idea-- indeed, his command.
The boat as church - an ancient symbol. Thomas G. Long, in his Matthew commentary (p. 166): "Unlike the bowling league or the Coalition to Save Historic Buildings, the church is not a group of like minded people who, on their own initiative, rally around a common desire or a worthy cause. The church, rather, is a peculiar people, called by God and sent out onto a dangerous sea. Were it not for the authoritative command of Christ, no one would volunteer to climb into the boat.."
So... on to Peter...
Given the above, we commonly point to Peter's "little faith" shown when he began to sink. But wasn't that lack first shown earlier, when he demanded proof from Jesus - to step out of the boat in the first place? ("Lord, if it is you...").
Jesus pulled him up, and then they both went back to the boat-- back to where Jesus told them all to be in the first place. Only when they were all there (in the presence of Christ) was the sea calmed.
Back to Long (ibid): "Like demons, disease and death, the raging sea is one of the unruly powers, but Jesus is Lord even over the sea; he is Lord over all the powers of chaos and destruction that threaten the life of the church, the mission of God's people, and the victory of the kingdom of heaven."
What do you think of when you think of "church?" Given the above, can we really "not bother with organized religion, and still be Christian?" What about separating ourselves from other believers? I wonder if it's a coincidence: folks who don't get it are often assumed to be "missing the boat."