Free Methodist Church USA "let there be light" with Dove-Flame Mark. Orange and Blue.

Repaired and Reworked by the Master Craftsman

By Superintendent Fraser Venter

February 10, 2021

I will openly admit that I am somewhat addicted to home improvement shows. I think it’s because you don’t often see the completion of a thing when you are in ministry. Thus, the tendency of pastors (myself included) to constantly paint walls. It is always refreshing on any of the home improvement shows to see something in great disrepair be brought back to life. It hits us deeply because it is connected to our calling, passion, and mission — where we are seeing lives impacted and changed by the Spirit of God.

Last year my wife, JoAnne, and I stumbled upon a Netflix series titled “The Repair Shop.” The Repair Shop is where expert craftsmen use their talents and resources to restore sentimental objects that have become inseparable from people’s lives to prove that anything can be fixed up to be as good as new again. After binging the whole series, we both realized, “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a repair shop in our lives? What if we could drive down the street to the shop and drop off our lives, relationships, finances, stresses, health issues, bad habits, and our faith for a quick repair?”

“The Repair Shop” brought the following principles to mind that give us great spiritual formation tips.

Principle: If it’s personal, it has value.
Lesson: Your value to a loving God is not professional; it is personal.

Principle: Just because it’s in disrepair or non-usable doesn’t mean it can’t have the potential for usefulness again.
Lesson: Using broken things on broken people only leads to more brokenness. Take time for your repair so that you are usable for others.

Principle: Sometimes, it takes a group of people to help repair.
Lesson: Don’t be afraid of leading with appropriate vulnerability. I have found that it always involves others.

Principle: Every item, like every person, has a history to learn from and a legacy to give toward.
Lesson: Your story is essential, but it is not finished. And it deserves to be passed on to others.

Principle: You have to let go and allow the piece that needs repair to be placed in another’s hand who can restore, repair, and renovate it.
Lesson: Placing your life, ministry, relationships, and faith in the hand of the Master Craftsman is to recognize your need for Him and His love for you.

“The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him” (Jeremiah 18:4 NRSV).

The Master Craftsman’s hands upon you are not to shame you, abuse you, or misuse you. His hands are to rework (commonly meaning to restore and return to original purpose).

Everybody needs a repair shop — a place where the expert can begin to restore the value of who we are. As you start the Lent season, take the time with the Craftsman (Potter) and let Him restore value and what seems good to Him. He is more concerned with who you are becoming than what you are doing. And maybe all the “doing” has left us in need of being reworked again. He sees your value and invites you to His repair shop.

You are worth it, and you are loved.

Fraser Venter is a conference superintendent of the Free Methodist Church in Southern California and also the lead pastor of Cucamonga Christian Fellowship in Rancho Cucamonga, California.