Jack of All Trades

Posted by David MacAdam

"People were overwhelmed with amazement. 'He has done everything well,' they said." (Mark 7:37 NIV).

There was a trademark of excellence on all that Jesus did. The people were not amazed that He did all things. They were amazed with the things that He did and that He did them well.

Nearly two thousand years before Peter Drucker's "The Effective Executive", Jesus modeled effectiveness. In Drucker's classic book on management, he emphasized that efficiency is doing things well. Effectiveness is doing the right things well. To say 'Yes' to the Father's plan Jesus had to say 'No' to other activities. He was selective about the people with whom He worked. He could not spend equal time with everybody. He Himself could not teach, train, deploy and monitor every volunteer. Even as the Son of God, He realized His limitations.

Jesus exercised discretion in regards to ministry opportunities. His brothers tried to pressurize Him into going to Jerusalem. He knew that it could be the 'right' thing to do, but the wrong time. He could not respond to every suggestion. He was consecrated to glorify His Father and walk in the Spirit.

Discretion is a key factor in avoiding ministry 'burnout'. We need to make responsible choices. Our desire to do things well can get in the way of doing the right things. We can also busy ourselves aimlessly trying to do everything. This is why prayer is always to be our priority. Instead of creating our own arbitrary standard of what is the right thing to do, we need a fresh understanding of God's will. The Holy Spirit directed the early church to ensure that leaders give themselves primarily to the Word and prayer (Acts 6). From the leadership, a church, a family, an organization takes its direction.

John Wesley said, The more busy I become, the more I need to pray. Today many pastors in New England will be attending a 4 Day Prayer Summit. Let's pray for them and Christians everywhere that they will take their lead from God.

Only recently I learned that the phrase, "Jack of all trades, master of none," is a modern misquote of a phrase from early American history, "Jack of all trades, master of one". Perhaps that is a misquote of an even earlier concept, "Jack of all trades, mastered by One."

Yours in Christ,

David MacAdam, Pastor/Teacher
New Life Community Church