In the courtyard of a quaint little church in a French village was standing a beautiful marble statue of Jesus with his hands outstretched. One day during the war, a bomb struck close to the statue and severely damaged it. After the battle was over, the citizens of the village decided to find the pieces of their beloved statue and reconstruct it.
Patiently they gathered broken pieces and reassembled it. Even the scars on the body added to the beauty of the statue. But there was one problem. They were unable to find the hands of the statue. “A Christ without hands is no Christ at all,” someone lamented. “Hands with scars, yes. But what’s a Lord without hands? We need a new statue.”
Then someone else came up with another idea that appealed to the people. A brass plaque was attached at the base of the statue which read: “I HAVE NO HANDS BUT YOUR HANDS.” A few years later Annie Johnson Flint saw that inscription and wrote these famous words, which we sing from time to time in worship assemblies:
I have no hands but your hands to do my work today.
I have no feet but your feet to lead men on the way.
I have no tongue but your tongue to tell men how I died.
I have no help but your help to bring men to God’s side.
The church of Christ in Waverly, Tennessee has been using the words “Being the Hands of Jesus” as a theme (congregational focus) in 2021.   We have been working with the elders and ministers and church staff for several months getting ready to start an involvement campaign that we had hoped would start in early 2021. However, the pandemic has postponed this campaign until January, 2022.    Both the youth minister and pulpit minister having been presenting relevant lessons daily and weekly.    The deacons were first informed and then the congregation as a whole of the direction that the church will take in the new year. Some adjustments will be made as we approach 2022.
When working with a congregation, I encourage the eldership and staff to come up with the focus.  I have several that I can suggest, but I prefer that they make a personal decision on what would work best there and what they need.   The church secretary recently came up with a brilliant idea of portraying the hands of Jesus:  she has been taking pictures of all the members’ hands and she is presently working on creating a collage of these hands to hang in an obvious place so the members can see it as they enter to worship, study and fellowship.
This is my first such work with a church after retirement.    They and I decided to work together for a total of 13 weeks with me on site 3 days a week.   They are providing housing for my wife and myself.   So far, our sharing and learning together has been a great experience for us all.
If you are interested in a similar arrangement please contact me.   I can hold retreats (usually Friday evenings and Saturday mornings or just Saturday for a total of six hours), workshops (which are usually 8 to 9 hours), or a residence with you for one to thirteen weeks.   The goal:   to help church leaders in creating a customized plan to assist members in learning how God has designed them for His purpose and get every member involved in ministry.
Please contact me at
Travis Irwin, involvement coach
involvementcoach@att.net
423 920 3060
2134 River Chase Drive
Murfreesboro, TN 37128