I was helping to remodel a buddy’s home recently, and in the midst of some mindless demolition work, he posed the question, “If you only have one tool to repair this house, what would you choose?”
My first thought was, “What is this, seventh grade?” I mean, I remember when we used to pose those ridiculous kinds of questions to one another all the time in middle school, ranging from cars and sports, to life-dreams and girls, but c’mon we’re older now. I’m sure we were the only ones who ever did that, but anyway…
Instead though, I played along. “Hmm, I’d probably choose a hammer,” I responded. Think of a hammer – it’s got great utility. It’s effective at everything from demolishing things to finishing them. At least finishing touches on putting things together. It is kind of like a multi-tool before there were multi-tools. He seemed to think that was a satisfactory answer, so we moved on in conversation.
But, the question made me think about what we are helping to equip people with around the world. As Xander explained, maybe giving people a tool is one of the most effective ways at helping to create self-sustainability. However, should we make them only choose one tool or give them multiple?
Here at impact49, we’ve decided that giving people a few tools probably helps them with a more holistic approach to being self-sustainable while they focus on church planting. So, the three tools that we give them are small-business training, discipleship training, and leadership training.
The small-business training gives them the tool to become economically self-sustained. In many areas around the world, it is difficult for people to even put food on their tables. So, addressing a way for them to provide for themselves is a huge source of empowerment. This tool also allows them to be a contributor to the local economy, which has many implications – they are viewed as small business owners by their neighbors, they help to provide jobs to others, the community sees them as a contributor. This is a pretty essential tool.
The discipleship training gives them the tool to make other disciples (which in the Bible seems like a key point). Through the training, the participants learn to become deeper followers of Christ as well as how to become disciple-makers. This often leads to home fellowships, small gatherings, and evangelism where God uses these local people to plant churches in their own towns and surrounding areas.
The leadership training gives them the tool to become better leaders in their homes, churches, and community. This tool helps to make everyone around them better. It focuses them on God and following Christ’s leadership example here in earth.
Let’s just say – it’s an awesome tool-kit! It really does provide the necessary tools for them to start a small project, and give it their best shot. The tool-kit looks to address economic, spiritual, and practical issues in the context that these folks live. And those are each important issues to be tackling.
So, as these people take on the project of advancing God’s Kingdom, let’s continue to equip them with the necessary tools to see the job through!