Thursday, August 17, 2006

High Capacity Individuals

At the WCA Summit, speakers kept talking about seeking out high-capacity individuals to fill positions of ministry in the church. The phrase sticks in my craw, especially used in this context. I've been chewing it over for over a week, and while I'm not sure I have it all figured out, I do know what bothers me about it.

  1. I am not a high-capacity individual. Some are 78's, some are 45's, some are 33-1/3, and some are even 16's. (If you don't understand this, you are probably under 30 years old.) I like to imagine that I am a 33-1/3, pushing it to 45 every now and then, but it's more likely that I'm a 16, truth be told. 78's accomplish a lot, they really do, but I wonder if they are even capable of spending an afternoon listening to a hurting person or if their schedule and accomplishments rule them.
  2. I don't see where God selects "high-capacity individuals". He is not in the business of seeking out people who are most qualified to help him. He empowers willing hearts and hands to do the work he provides for them to do. Moses was in exile, living nomadically in the desert when he went to investigate the burning bush where God called him. Moses was sure no one would listen to him so God gave him signs, and when that wasn't enough for Moses, he gave him Aaron to be his mouthpiece. God chose a teenage girl of no particular stature to bear his Son, and a carpenter to raise him. The people of Isreal picked Saul to be their king--handsome, tall and possessing the characteristics they wanted. God picked a shepherd boy, David. It was a prostitute that God used to save the spies, and who made it into the lineage of Christ. Who were Christ's disciples who he empowered to change the world? Fishermen.

As far as I can tell, God wants willing hearts, not high capacity. What does Scripture say to you? I mean I understand what they are saying. You don't select a person who physically can't work more than 5 hours a day to have a high level position in a church of more than 3,000 members, a staff of 30, and hundreds of volunteers. The smart thing to do is to hire the guy who accomplishes much, works long hours and has bundles of energy. The guy who doesn't know what it is like to work a 40 hour week. Sometimes though, God surprises us by building a ministry through a quadraplegic (Joni Erickson Tada). Maybe, just maybe, he is not through with a low-capacity individual like me.