My children loved watching “Handy Manny“, it is a Disney programme about a handy-man who can fix/build anything, like an American “Bob the Builder” but his tools can talk and operate themselves! They remind me of 1 Corinthians 12 verses 4-31 where Paul talks about being a part of the body.
I would like to break down their characteristics as I think they have something to teach us!
Felipe– a Spanish speaking cross-head screwdriver (or philips-head hence the name). He is only useful for working with cross-head screws but he dreams of being a super-hero! Some of us have been in the same job for years, with the distinct feeling that they are destined for greatness!!
Turner– A grumpy flat-head screw-driver who has multiple uses (most of the things we use them for are not the original purpose). This reminds me of the “old guard” in churches whose mindset is “I am a caterer/flower arranger/sunday-school teacher” and refuse to let people take over or help, this is not healthy for them or the church. Unfortunately the only way “new blood” can take over/help is if the “old guard” become ill/pass away due to old age!
Pat– Apparently a dim-witted hammer. He is content with his lot and introduces himself to everyone saying “I’m a hammer!” This characteristic is similar to Turner but God has given you a specific desire/passion and you unwaveringly follow it, you may not receive recognition but your faithful work blesses god!
Squeeze– An enthusiastic set of pliers, small but very useful tool, she is quite impatient to get on and do things!
Rusty- A monkey wrench which is scared of everything, and constantly needs reassurance by others!
Any of these sound familiar? Can you see yourself anywhere?
As much as we hate to admit it, in life & in our churches, we need people who are:-
- Scared of “stepping out of the boat”- to an extent they make sure we don’t run off and do things which are not God-centred but self-centred, they criticise and question everything, so much so that we have to become 100% sure that our calling/plans are “ordained by God”
- Enthusiastic about every opportunity and raring to go- they challenge and push the church/you forward, they naturally cause friction with the “scaredy-cats” but both are necessary to keep the church moving at the appropriate pace.
- Faithful and willing servants- without them, new projects or even existing church activities would not occur and church life would fall apart (someone has to make the tea/coffee! Someone has to look after the little ones so that parents can get some teaching)
- Dreamers- they see opportunities to serve God in new ways, they are people who can walk into a building and see how it can be used or where they would put things, rather than the “magnolia brigade” who use the old “tried and tested” techniques and make the church irrelevant to todays society!