the weblog of Alan Knox

Equipment Failure

Posted by on Mar 3, 2011 in blog links, discipleship | 5 comments

Equipment Failure

I love it when a post or writer causes me to think about something from a different angle.

Dan at “The Ekklesia in Southern Maine” recently did that in his post “Equipped.” He used a metaphor to help me think about discipleship in a new way.

In the post, Dan talks about the difference between the way that Mainers deal with snow and the way that North Carolinians deal with snow. He writes:

So what is the difference? Like I said at the beginning, it always snows in Maine. It rarely snows in North Carolina. Mainers are prepared and equipped to deal with heavy snowfalls. North Carolinians are not equipped to deal with any snow. [In Maine] Every town, every grocery store, every strip mall has it’s own fleet of tractors, back hoes, dump trucks, or whatever other dinosaur vehicle they can get to plow snow. Every homeowner has a snow blower or a plow for their pickup. Every car is equipped with an ice scraper. Every porch has a shovel and a bucket of sand or salt sitting on it. Every Mainer has gloves and hats and boots and heavy jackets. We are prepared. We are equipped.

Dan compared being equipped for snow with making disciples. He wondered what would happen if the disciple-making chain (“the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” – 2 Timothy 2:2) was broken.

But, Dan’s post made me think of something else. Since North Carolina rarely gets snow, it would be ridiculous to be as equipped for snow here (in North Carolina) as Mainers are. Oh, it might be beneficial for North Carolinians once or twice per year (or decade), but day in and day out, it would not be beneficial for North Carolina to be as equipped for snow as Mainers.

And, I wondered… could it be that most Christians and churches are “equipped” for the wrong things?

What do you think? What are most Christians and churches equipped for today? What should they be equipped for?


5 Comments

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  1. 3-3-2011

    Alan

    Thanks for linking to my post!

    I think one thing that church leaders seem to ask congregants to do, and equip them for, is bring people into the building. Churches create big programs and special services and give congregants flyers and web links and big speeches about bringing their lost friends to hear the gospel. So that is what they do, or at least try to do, and somewhere along the way they forget that the gospel isn’t “come to my church.”

    Another thing that people seem to be equipped for is giving partyline answers.
    “What do you think of homosexual marriage?”
    “Well, Pastor Bob says …”
    Sometimes, a lot of times, believers are equipped with answers, but not the ability to answer in a meaningful way.

    Just a couple things off the top of my head. Thanks again!

    Dan

  2. 3-3-2011

    Boy, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw the title of this post…

  3. 3-3-2011

    We are equipped to give a small portion to the Lord, in our money, our time, our talent. Sort of a weekly rental fee rather than slavery.

    As a corollary, we are further equipped to use the rest of our time, money and talent to compete in the world for our fair share of the goodies.

    We are equipped to know via one, two, or even ten page doctrinal statements specifying tons of truth.

    As a corollary, we are free to know without having any consequent application or responsibility–these are NEVER associated with doctrinal specifications.

  4. 3-3-2011

    Alan,

    And we wear special clothes for polishing pews!

  5. 3-3-2011

    Good thoughts everyone… except Arthur. ;)

    So, what should we be equipping each other for?

    -Alan