2T2:2 Availability vs. ability


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When it comes to filling a void in a church, organization, recreation league, or any other possible scenario. Which do you look for availability or ability? I think both are good qualities, but I usually gravitate toward ability. I want someone who is capable of doing the job. Is this the best way to go about hiring or filling a volunteer role or a new hire?

The Apostle Paul gave his take on the debate as he invested into his protégé Timothy.

2 Timothy 2:2- “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of mnay witnesses, entrust these things to faithful men who will be able to teach others too.”

Paul seems to think that availability seems to take precedence over ability. But what exactly does Paul mean by faithful? Is Paul alluding to us keeping attendance on people? Well, not exclusively. The faithful in the original Greek language means trustworthy. With that definition, can someone be trustworthy is they are never available? Probably not. How could they be entrusted with faithful sayings and the importance of the mission is they are never around. Most companies looking to hire within is going to look at availability, ownership of the mission, and competence.

So which one is it, availability or ability? Yes. I believe Paul is giving us an idea for what to look for as we look for our next volunteer, next hire, or someone to promote. Start with faithfulness. Are they around enough to be invested in? Do they know what the mission is and do they seek to live it out? Are they trustworthy? If you are unsure, then ask yourself these questions. “Do I worry that the stapler will go missing when they come into my office?” “Do I worry that they are not doing their job if no one is looking?” If the answer is “yes” to either question, then they probably aren’t trustworthy. Your mission of your church or company is too valuable to hand it over to untrustworthy people. So what about the person who has been around or employed for the last 40 years, faithful right? Maybe. They might just be loyal and grateful to have a job. Have they moved up the ladder at all or are they still in the same spot 40 years later? I believe Paul gives us a hint when it comes to this idea of faithfulness when he says “…who will be able to teach others.”

Some people just aren’t able to take what they know and pass it on to others. They may not be able to teach or move the mission forward when you meet them, that does not disqualify them at all. But they must be able to be taught how to teach others. Simple put, they need to be available first and then made to be able.

So how does that work in the church or your business? Look for people around you who are available who are teachable. They have enough humility surrounding them that they want to know more. They want to grow. They may be content with where they are, but always want to improve on how they do it. If your company makes widgets or provides a service, train them up in the mission (What is done) and the vision (how its done) so they can grow into it and be able to pass that on to others. In the church setting, the scene is all to familiar. We need a youth volunteer. We ask, “who can tolerate teens for 1 hour each week.” Then we line them up, take off our shoe, throw it, and whoever screams is the new youth volunteer for the next 40 years until they are forced to fake their own death to not have to come back. This model doesn’t fulfill the mission and no one is really benefited or encouraged. But don’t worry, ministry is supposed to be painful right?

Start with who you have (faithful/trustworthy), begin instructing them on what you want to accomplish (Mission), teach them how they fit into the mission, teach them to teach others, and then release them to do what you trained them for. Start looking at who you can train next year. Continue coaching and encouraging those you’ve trained. Before you know it, you have more folks equipped for the ministry than you have ministry. How did that happen? You looked for the faithful/trustworthy first and then made them able.

I love training folks to move the mission forward. Many you’d like to get started but not sure how to go about it? Just contact me and I’d love to help. I have training tools that I use and would love to recommend some to you.

Grace and Peace to you as you look for the available and make them able.

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