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Craftsmanship

1 Corinthians 12:28-31
And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

I've been challenged in my assumptions of what a pastor is - what a pastor does, is responsible for, etc. Althought I haven't quite sorted it all out to my complete satisfaction, today I am reminded if this important fact: God decides who is and who isn't. He appoints these. My greatest asset personal as a leader is the fact that I have been chosen by God to serve His church in this function.

Obviously this is not something to use as a sledgehammer when facing conflict or challenge. It is though a solid foundation upon which the confidence to fulfill my role rests. So then there seems to be this whole spiritual toolbox from which we are able to choose from. Like most guys, I am infatuated with power tools - drillls, saws, air hammers, etc. - what ever tool can to it the quickest and most powerfully. These are the other "gifts" that I desire. But it isn't always about fast and big. At some point quality, craftsmanship, becomes the issue. This is the more excellent way.

I watch the care and attention to detail that is the real "tool" of artisans and craftsmens, whether they be potters, furnituremakers, homebuilders. It's not only the eventual product that is important. It's thier love of the materials they use, thier love of the process, that is thier motivation. Pastoring is hard sometimes because the process can be hard. The materials you are given to work with (in yourself as well as those you shepherd) may not have been your first choice. But the skill, the excellence is shown in the way it is handled and what is produced more that the raw material you begin with.

I want the best gifts, to have the best tools and best materials. But that doesn't guarantee what is produced is excellence. Excellence is produced when love, for the product and the process, is the motivation.

"...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:7-8

Lord, don't let me fail in what you've appointd me to do.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 20, 2003 12:00 AM.

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