the weblog of Alan Knox

I’m not a carpenter, but I play one on TV

Posted by on Jun 3, 2011 in discipleship, service | 5 comments

I’m not a carpenter, but I play one on TV

During the last few weeks, I’ve had a couple of opportunities to help people with various forms of carpentry. Now, you must know, I am not a carpenter. I’m not even almost a carpenter. I own a hammer, but that’s about as close as I get to being a carpenter.

A few weeks ago, some friends needed help putting the finishing touches on their new deck. I didn’t build the deck. In fact, I didn’t even put on the finishing touches. But, I helped my friend who does not have to do some carpentry. Primarily, I held things and picked up things and offered two more hands whenever he needed them.

A few days ago, a friend of ours wanted to change her locks. Again, this is not my area of expertise. But, I went to her house after work, took off the old locks, picked up some new locks, and then installed the new locks. And, believe it or not, the locks seem to work… for now.

So, why did I tell these stories? I’m certainly not interested in convincing people that I’m a great carpenter. Trust me, I’m not very handy at all.

No, I shared these stories to encourage you. There are going to be times when someone is going to need help. And, they will need help in a manner in which you are not skilled. So what? Help them anyway.

Too much in the church today is handled by professionals. And, even those areas where the common person is allowed to serve, only those with certain skills are given the opportunity. This is not the way the church is designed.

Yes, we all have certain gifts and abilities and talents and skills and training. But, our ability to help one another is not found only in those things in which we excel! No, our ability to help one another is found in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

Plus, my friends did not care that I was not the greatest at woodworking or installing locks. Instead, they cared that I was willing to give up my time to help them.

Serving in this manner does not come natural to me. I’m much more of a talker. (I heard someone snicker… Shut up… I know who you are.) I have been told that I am a gifted teacher. But, this does not mean that I should only serve others by teaching. No. Not at all. And this is where so many teachings about spiritual gifts and service fall short. (And, don’t even get me started on those spiritual gift surveys…)

If God gives us an opportunity to serve others (in any manner) then we should take advantage of those opportunities, trusting God to work through us. If your gifting is in the area of teaching, but you have an opportunity to serve and get your hands dirty, then jump at the chance! If your gifting is in the area of serving, and God gives you an opportunity to teach, then take advantage of that opportunity!

Yes… whatever opportunity God gives you to serve, take that opportunity… even if it’s carpentry.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 6-3-2011

    Yes. God help us to make sure people are warm and filled instead of just talking about it.

  2. 6-3-2011

    So many times I’ve grown just by doing something I wasn’t good at. And the best part was that I grew closer in fellowship to the ones I was working with. As a former Minister of Music told us, he didn’t want the best singers who were singing to the congregation. He wanted the ones who would show up and sing to the Lord.

  3. 6-3-2011

    oh wow… Two Johns… where’s Aussie John when I need him?

    John Bullock,

    Yeah, we’re good at talking, aren’t we? I wonder why so many in the church put talking above serving…

    John (just John),

    Absolutely! We can grow in so many ways by serving someone in a manner that’s not natural for us.


  4. 6-3-2011


    I’m right here, Down Under! I’ll make it an agreeing trio.

    It was very interesting to watch the faces of people, and hear their comments, when “the pastor” turned up to do an odd job or so. I often had a good chuckle to myself when I left.

  5. 6-3-2011

    Aussie John,

    When we come visit you, I’ll make sure to bring my hammer.