I have the organizational skills of a malnourished and undertrained orangutan. I make piles of stuff and convince myself that I will remember what is in them. The main problem is that my brain has two compartments:
- What I am currently thinking about and/or looking at.
- A jumbled mess of disordered and disorganized information that may or may not correspond to reality.
Last month (Lord bless her) my wife cleaned out my car. As a result, she asked my permission to tweet the following gem: (don’t skip the linked picture)
Cleaned out Ben’s car…2 bags o trash, 1bag of dishes, clothes, unopened mail, including a bday card for me…amazing http://t.co/lTYfF2a
For reference, her birthday is February 10th. I’ve got serious skills. In my defense, I told her about the birthday card, but forgot to actually take it (all the way) in from the mailbox.
In the opposite of my defense (my prosecution?) I should have known better than to put the card amidst the sea of empty Starbucks cups that is my entire passenger side.
My wife, on the other hand, is like the rain(wo)man when it comes to remembering where she put stuff. She singlehandedly (literally, she was holding a baby in the other) packed our entire house into boxes, and has been unpacking them like a champ since we moved into the new place. So I’d expect her to have no clue where things are right now.
Instead, here’s how a conversation went down on Saturday morning:
Me: Hey, do you have any idea where the Mighty Putty™ is?
Her: It’s either in the small box at the bottom of that closet, or on the top shelf of the laundry room.
Me: (pulling it out of the box) Wow.
Her: I just think back to when I was packing, and what I was thinking at the time. Then I plug it into an algorithm here in my excel spreadsheet that outputs possible locations where the box is.
OK, so maybe she doesn’t have an excel spreadsheet (for that…), but that would actually be less impressive than the mental gymnastics she does to keep all of our family in order, without much technological assistance.
Honestly, most churches and ministries have a plethora of Bens (good at casting vision, singing, telling stories, teaching, and/or preaching) and a severe shortage of Jacquelines (good at administration, organization, and budgeting).
We do a pretty bad job of recruiting administratively gifted people to be in missions.
Perhaps a large part of the problem is that the marketplace is far friendlier to accountants than it is to speakers/writers/singers. A Christian with teaching and singing gifts stands to make potentially more money in ministry than in “secular” work. Ever tried to start a freelance speaking business?
But the bulk of the problem lies in the fact that we don’t appropriately laud the folks currently in administrative positions in our ministries. We don’t communicate how vital they are to the success of the organization. We don’t relate how the person with the gift of Microsoft Excel® was just as vital as (and in some cases more vital than) the speaker or musician or Bible study leader.
We need accountants, architects, entrepreneurs, and MBA’s to see accepting a call into ministry as something other than laying aside their “worldly” training in favor of a “spiritual” calling. We don’t need them to preach. We need them to administrate to the glory of God.
Because without them, we’re a bunch of undertrained orangutans, flinging our poop against a wall.