I’ve mentioned Greg KcKeown’s book “Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less” a few times and thought I might need to clarify a few things for those who are considering the implications of defining what is their highest point of contribution in the domain that they’re married to. Craftsman see themselves as fully invested to a particular work to the point that they are almost peculiar in what they do. They begin to discern what is essential and what has become trivial.
So what does trivial mean? Simply put, in light of what is now realized as essential all other things become less important. This is true even though these trivial things might have been good, even very good things, they are now in the way of doing the one thing which is most important. The craftsman has discovered their highest point of contribution and all other things need to be eliminated so that they can focus solely on that thing which is now essential.
The opposite of this would be the person who defines themselves as a “jack of all trades but master of none.” The craftsman doesn’t want to be a tradesman, his desire is to become a master at his craft. He will then strive to eliminate all other things because they are now a distraction from him focusing on his highest point of contribution. This frees him up to supremely value that one thing and champion it.
This is what sets apart the craftsman from those who have never considered what their highest level of contribution is. These folks tend to just have a job, to receive a paycheck, to pay the bills and buy the stuff, so they can relax from the job that they have. While they may know how to do a lot of things well, they have never focused long enough to do one thing better than most everyone else around them.
This idea of essentialism as coined by McKeown is not a new concept, but he’s done a masterful job of plating it and placing it on the table for all to enjoy. During the reformation of the 15th and 16th centuries the church was awakened to the reality that our righteousness doesn’t win us favor with God, but that believers could rest in the finished work of Christ for their right standing before God. This had many implications, but one of them was that everyone’s good works had importance but in a very different way than everyone thought. As Martin Luther put it, “God doesn’t need our good works, but our neighbor does.” This is at the crux of loving God and loving our neighbor, you can’t do either well without the other.
Which brings me to the point of why start “The Master Crafted”, what’s the point. 2017 marked the 500th anniversary of the reformation. There was much fanfair across many protestant denominations about the 5 solas. However, very little was said about what implications the reformation had on properly loving our neighbor. This only seeks to widen the sacred and secular divide and causes men to wrestle with finding true meaning and purpose in their lives should they choose to not “go into the ministry”. Everything else becomes a lesser calling.
The Master Crafted has one essential point of highest contribution across all domains and that is to reawaken in mankind that completely sacred devotion to serving our fellow man with charity and justice given to us by Christ our Master Craftsman. Does this mean that everyone who is a craftsman is a Christian? Probably, not but this community of people would be the first to greatly benefit from apprenticing with Christ to be a champion of their domain. And our hope is that all people would realize that the great value of the verse below…
Paul in Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. “