I think about my life and experiences as a ministry toolbox. God gives tools through our life experiences and they are found in each of our toolboxes. Our tool boxes are filled with items He has providentially allowed us to collect for a future use to accomplish His purposes. I view life as tool gathering. From a physics standpoint, a tool is an item used to give mechanical advantage. Mechanical advantage makes work easier. Pulling out a nail without a hammer would be impossible with my two bare hands. I need a tool.
An Odd Collection of Tools
Here are some seemingly random experiences that placed tools in my ministry toolbox and make me who I am today:
- Christian camp counselor and later a leader at the camp.
- A song leader at a nursing home.
- A permanent substitute elementary PE teacher for one semester .
- A pseudo interim youth pastor for 6-months.
- Helped plant a church in Fairfield, Iowa (world capital of the Maharishi, transcendental mediators).
- A degree in Chemistry Education and a High School Teacher
- A Children's Pastor for 10 years
What a weird collection of experiences, right? Now, here is the weirdest tool of all that God has allowed me to have in my ministry toolbox: While working as a chemistry teacher God helped to "outfit my toolbox" with a traveling gospel-based chemistry show filled with fire, explosions and foam. I never would have anticipated a love for the periodic table could be used to further the gospel. These were tools He developed that I now have in my ministry toolbox.
What's in Your Ministry Toolbox
You too, have a toolbox, right? When thought about appropriately, our experiences, these tools we have gathered, all should be at God’s disposal. What tools has God providentially placed in your toolbox? What unique tools do you bring to the "ministry job site"? Are you a mother with skills as a caregiver? Do you have a business degree? Have you ever been in a car wreck? Have you ever had a broken bone? Did you grow up on a farm?
The list could go on for 10,000 pages and I propose that every one of these could be a point of grooming to serve him perfectly in this particular season of life. God is not random. God is a God of order.
God is weaving a tapestry of your life. Are you capitalizing on the seemingly random experiences he's allowing you to have? For nothing in Him is a waste. Life is a process of tool gathering. Life's experiences simply fill our Ministry Toolbox. Remember, you have a toolbox brimming with tools sized perfectly for you.