The “multi-purpose” tool

My tagline is “I’m just a tool”, and that is true. I want to be something that God can use to impact this world. But what kind of a tool am I?

I work for an HVAC company. We use tools at work, some are tools you’d see in any man’s garage, others are tools that unless you’re working on air conditioning equipment you’d have no use for it.

I carry three tools with me all the time (The toolbag is kind of heavy and I won’t use most of what’s in it a lot of the time). I carry a flashlight, a utility knife and an 10-in-1 (the one I carry now is a bit old and missing some of the bits so technically it’s a 3-in-1). This tool is magical. It has a flat tip screwdriver, a philips head screwdriver and a 5/16 nut-driver. Since most of the screws that I need to take off on a quick inspection are 5/16 this tool is always with me.

I often feel like a “multi-purpose” tool in ministry. While my 10-in-1 is versatile, it’s not the best at anything. You can find a better screwdriver that will allow you to put more force on the screw or have the precise size bit that you need, you can have a nut-driver that is magnetic and you have even more specialized tools for other jobs. I think there are things that I do pretty well. I feel like I am useful in my local church and that the pastoral staff and leaders appreciate my contribution, but every once in a while I think “man, it’d be great to be really talented in one thing”.

I think that is the wrong thing to focus on. Some people will be amazing at what they do. Some can talk for hours and people listen. Some are organized beyond the scope of human understanding. And these people are important. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with being an 11-in-1. We still need to focus on our strengths and grow in the areas that we serve, this is not meant to serve as an excuse for laziness in our ministry. But I think it’s ok to be pretty good at a few things, and to grow in those areas.

I may not be as bright as a flashlight, or sharp like the knife but there are plenty of times when what you need is someone who can do the few things he does well and is willing to be used in whatever way God would have.

Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


3 thoughts on “The “multi-purpose” tool

  1. Pingback: Eight:8 | Wayne W.

  2. This is really good! I was expecting your usual snarkiness (which is good too :>), instead, I find an intelligent, well-written blog. Kudos!

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