Monday, October 29, 2012



Chaplain Mike:
I am not a “handy” person. It’s not that I’m incapable (or so I imagine), but rather that I’ve never taken the time to learn and practice the art of making or fixing things. As a result, I have also never invested a lot of money in tools beyond the basic items needed for general tasks. On several occasions, this has caused me headaches, because a project presented itself that required something beyond a basic tool. When possible, I procured what was needed, but at other times I made the foolish mistake of trying to make do with the wrong instruments. The outcome usually wasn’t pretty. Something that could have been made or fixed easily (and correctly) with the proper tool ended up being butchered by a “hack job.”


Is it necessary to list the ways in which the American church has become enthralled with the “tools of the flesh”? Much of contemporary church culture glories in its spectacular worship “shows,” polished preachers, professional corporate organization, along with emphases on spiritual enthusiasm, prosperity teaching, “vision” and unmediated spiritual experience, as well as triumphalistic attitudes and approaches in “culture war” confrontations. We tend to like big, loud, and impressive.


...note the concepts and words in this first sentence that describe the tools Paul uses as a true pastoral leader:

Personal Touch...
Respectful Appeal...

The Meekness and Gentleness of Christ....
What are tools? Most people think they are devices designed simply to make a job easier and more efficient. But that is not really the case - they are devises design to make a specific job possible. For example you cannot use any screwdriver on any screw - you need either a phillips head or a flathead depending on the screw. When you get into mechanical drivers there are square heads and star heads and...all designed for specific torque requirements in specific substrates. They ALL make the job faster and more efficient, but they are not all suitable for every job.

But there is more. A real craftsman does not use screws at all. The best furniture has only joinery like mortise and tenon, where the wood and glue holds itself without mechanical aid. Such furniture is a labor of love, it will last forever as all the parts become literally a single piece of wood. It requires enormous skill, and more importantly incredible patience. There is nothing fast of efficient about it.

So there is a question of us using the right tools when it comes to doing the job of the church, but there is more - should we do it fast and efficiently? I am wondering if we ought not go for the quality.
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