Adventures AWAKE

A pithy little blog encouraging creative adventures of the Christian spirit

The Carpenter May 27, 2009

Today I listened to Marshall Ganz, Harvard, Lecturer in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and community organizer. If you want to get something done on a social-activist level, you need to hear what this guy has to say.

Among other things, Mr. Ganz pointed out the difference between a carpenter and a tool.premier-hammer


Well there’s a simple analogy that never crossed my mind, I thought.


Ganz was using it to point out effective leadership strategies to accomplish real change. He explained that tools don’t drive the building of a house, the carpenter does.


I took it down a little different road: Jesus. Literally. Jesus = carpenter. Jesus = Savior. Therefore, carpenter = Savior. Now, my people don’t build things…we pay people who do. So my technical knowledge on the topic is meager, at best. But what I do know is that to become a carpenter, it is common to serve as an apprentice for a few years. As a part of apprenticeship in Europe, it is common to travel to other countries in order to learn different building styles and techniques. That’s where the term “journeyman” comes from. The journey enhances their knowledge; it’s “real world.” I want to be one of those kind of apprentices.


The disciples got the concept of apprenticeship – they trained under Christ for His 3 years of ministry and, as a result, they took on his character and skills – something we can all do. Their personalities and abilities were humbled under Jesus’ training program.


The tools they brought into the workshop were their personalities, gifts and abilities. Peter’s type-A personality, Paul’s wanderlust and transformed compassion, James’ analytical mind all became tools in the Master Carpenter’s hand. Literally, they were foundational in building the framework of Christianity. They changed the world.


Jesus has a vision for what He wants to build but in order to accomplish it He needs you and me to apprentice. So, sign up…and bring your tools.


Want an adventure? Ask yourself: Am I really in the training program or just a tinkering hobbyist? Have I let my journey enhance my knowledge – or am I sticking too close to the safety of home? What tools do I have in my toolbox? What tools do I need to complete the project I’m called to do? What would it take to become a journeyman?


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