But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
The most visited attraction in Barcelona is not a theme park or a soccer stadium. It’s an unfinished church that has been under construction for more than 135 years.
If you visit la Sagrada Familia, you’ll instantly see why the church is so popular. For starters, it is truly awe-inspiring. But there’s a second reason why the church is such a draw. In an age that prioritizes speed over everything else, the pace at which la Sagrada Familia is being built commands our attention.
We are used to seeing restaurants built in weeks, houses in months, and skyscrapers in just a few years. The idea of spending more than thirteen decades building a church is simply incomprehensible to most. It is that commitment to slow, masterful work that draws millions of...
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God….And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him….Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:3,17, 23-24)
In the past few weeks, I’ve made the case for why Christians should focus on pursuing mastery of one thing at a time vocationally and what we should be looking for in our “one thing.” Today, we’ll take a glimpse at how you can achieve mastery of your craft for the glory of God and the good of others.
In my team’s extensive research for my new book, Master of One, three keys to mastering any vocation came up time and time again.
Key #1: Apprenticeships
In James 4:6, we are told...
Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times. (Mark 4:3-8)
Between my research for Called to Create and Master of One, I have interviewed nearly 100 Christians who are world-class masters of their crafts. When I’ve asked these people to describe how they discerned their “calling” or their “one thing,” their responses are remarkably similar. Nearly all of these masters tended to ask three questions throughout this...
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
Last week, I argued that in order to best glorify God and love others through our work, we should pursue becoming a “master of one” rather than drifting into becoming a “master of none.” To do this, we must get clarity on the work God has created us to do and the courage to say “no” to...
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
There’s an old saying that goes, “He’s a Jack of all trades, and a master of none,” used to describe someone who is good at many different things but not excellent at any one of them.
I don’t have a problem being a Jack of all trades, but I do think we Christians ought to have a big problem with being described as “masters of none.”
Why? Because the essence of the Christian life is to glorify God (or, in the words of John Piper, “reflect his greatness”) and love our neighbors as ourselves. How do we fulfill that call through our work? By doing our work masterfully well and being “imitators” of God’s character of excellence (see Ephesians 5:1).
The opposite of mastery is mediocrity, and mediocrity is nothing short of a failure of love and...