You probably know from my book “Growth By Accident, Death by Planning” (2004, Abingdon Press, pp. 109-120) that because of God’s regenerating power, He can use anyone. Thus, we must not let appearances deter us. For example, answer the following three questions about the attached picture:
1. Can you take guess who the people are in the attached photograph (below)?
2. And, then tell me what you think your people would do if this group showed up on your ministry doorstep one day. Now, don’t just give a pat answer that “We would welcome them.” But rather be honest and tell how these people might really feel to your ministry leaders. Would they be looked at as experts? Or maybe your ministry leaders would feel then need some time to adjust and fit in before you utilized them. Then tell us why you think they would be treated this way, either accepted or ostracized. Then, share some steps you might undertake to build a team from them and from your existing ministry volunteers.
3. Finally, what might we potentially miss by failing to welcome in and build a ministry team from such unconventional and quirky folk?
I will give you some of the usual answers to chose from (in case you are stumped):
1.) The Doobie Brothers
2.) Lynard Skynard
3.) Parents of the Backstreet Boys
4.) Park Place Church of God Handbell Choir.
5.) Dr. Whitesel’s Eagle Scout Troop
6.) or ??
Now, one of my witty (and technologically talented) students sent me this attachment (below) which purports to show hidden meanings in the picture I attached above. I hope you enjoy his humor (I know I did 🙂
So, ask yourself. Will these people fit into your ministry culture? In many ministries they won’t. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have something to contribute. They do. And, while IBM dismissed these young people and thus missed catching the wave of the next revolution, you don’t want differences in culture to blind your ministry to building a team with people who are just culturally different.