Square pegs in round holes
My child was once given a game in which he had to put various-shaped pegs into holes on a board. He was getting very frustrated until I realized that the manufacturer had enclosed the wrong board in the box and that few of the pegs would fit. A few hours later, after I had used my router to cut new holes in another board, he was happily fitting pegs into the holes appropriate to each one.
I recently attended a church-growth seminar in which plans were being made to reach the local community, for which a community profile had already been obtained. Programs were then designed appropriate to that community, and church members were being persuaded to ‘fit into’ those programs. In other words, we were designing a board (church) with various holes cut into it (ministries) into which we would endeavor to fit our pegs (members). Very few people seemed to be ‘cut out’ for the ministries they were asked to fill and soon the pastor had much difficulty in persuading his people to take on such. When are we going to take a profile of the pegs whom the manufacturer (the Lord) has placed in our church, consider their shapes (gifts), and then fit them into a ministry appropriate to their burdens? It’s about time we let the Lord build His church with the ‘pegs’ He has placed there, with the ‘burdens’ He has placed upon them (Gal 6:5 with Matt 11:29), and the unique shapes (gifting – see 1 Cor 12:11) that He has placed on each one.
Fellow Pastors, it’s about time you started to “equip the saints for the work of ministry” as is your calling (Eph 4:12), fitting them into the manufacturer’s board, instead of trying to fit them into your manmade, wrong-shaped holes.