Monday, July 16, 2007

What's in Your Chest?

In a small room in my backyard, I have a tool chest. It's not just a box; it's a 6-drawer chest that once belonged to my father. Each drawer is carefully arranged, filled with the tools that I have for whatever project I may find myself involved in. In the top drawer you would find my screwdrivers. In the next one, my wrenches are carefully laid out. And so on and so forth goes each drawer.

I don't use just any tool for any job. I have seen it done, mind you. I have seen someone grab a pair of pliers and use that important tool as a wrench on a stubborn bolt. I have seen others grab a regular screwdriver and try to use it in a phillips-head screw. When we use our tools that way, it just slows us down; don't you think? It often makes the job that more difficult the next time, too. My late father-in-law, a bivocational preacher, was a master mechanic--a specialist in diesel motors. He would often wave his wrenches at us and admonish us, "Boys, you have to use the right tool to do the job right!"

As a missionary, I have another tool chest. In that one I have a lot of different ways to try to start a church. There are the storying tools; there are inductive Bible study tools; there are mass evangelism tools; there are house church tools, simple church tools, and other church styles. And that list goes on, too numerous to describe in this short post. There is no one tool that will suffice for every place I want to start a church. Each area of this megacity is distinct; each church start requires a unique approach. And that is what is important, I think. We must use the right tool to do the job right.

Don't overlook this little analogy. Don't think one tool will do the job. Don't use a house church model when another model is called for, and vice-versa.

Stop and take a look. What's in your chest?


GuyMuse said...

Have enjoyed reading the past several posts, but this one is particularly helpful to keep in mind. There are many ways to get the job done, and to have a CP tool chest is very useful. Too many of us try to use a hammer for everything, when a wrench might be a more helpful tool. Back several years ago I made this mistake of trying to use only a few tools in our tool box. Today we are trying to use a much wider variety of tools from the entire chest available to us.

Kevin, Somewhere in South America said...


thanks for the comment. One of the things that planted the seed for this post was watching the Mormons in a community we just entered. It's interesting to see their cookie-cutter approach. It looks effective on the surface; we may even be tempted to imitate them--but without the false doctrine!!

The same goes with finding something that "worked" in another part of the world. Put it in the chest, master the use of it, but do not think that it is the only chisel in the drawer.

Well-said, Guy.

Have a good one.