Do you like car restoration Reality TV Shows? I was first turned on to this genre back in the days when the famed hip hop rapper Xibit (@Xzibit) hosted the show PIMP MY RIDE. After a few seasons of the show I lost interest – and ultimately stopped watching TV all together. I just wasn’t interested in seeing vehicles being morphed into “Freak Cars” anymore.
According to the DISCOVERY CHANNEL website, “In each episode of Fast N’ Loud, motor mastermind Richard Rawlings and mechanical prodigy Aaron Kaufman search the far flung corners of Texas and surrounding states for forgotten and derelict classic cars to buy and restore at their Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas, Texas.” According to Wikipedia, “… the Dallas, Texas-based Gas Monkey Garage…search for run-down cars, and with the help of the GMG crew, restore them for profit.”
After watching nearly 15 episodes of this show and with my knowledge of church ministry, I couldn’t help but see the overwhelming correlation between the themes presented on the show and Church Leadership. I am certain these correlations were not purposeful, however, in my eyes they were evident none-the-less.
One common perspective that is shared between Church Visionaries and Richard Rawlings is the idea of equal leadership but different roles. One of Richard’s greatest concerns is finding vehicles that can be restored at the cheapest price. He must be skilled at discerning the market value of particular cars once they have been restored. After all, why would anyone spend their time, effort and resources into a bringing a car back to life when no one will find value in it?
A Church Visionary must be able to see that every decision they make is in light of what they already know they can perform. In many cases the Pastor is the lead visionary, and they develop the unrealistic expectation that they can perform every task needed to bring it to fruition. However, this thought pattern can and often does lead to burnout and failure.
Aaron Kaufman’s role at the Gas Monkey Garage is to take the vision of Richard Rawlings and bring it to life within a designated budget. Aaron can sometimes meet the expectations and stay within budget, but then there are those times when unforeseen issues undermine the vision.
It is during those moments that Richard and Aaron must come together to discuss how they can salvage the project without losing their investment. In some cases deadlines must be extended – in other cases the budget is it re-worked and in some cases the entire project is determined to be scrapped. It’s humorous at times seeing Richard start a specific project with such high hopes for a payoff only to come to the realization that the project isn’t worth the effort – so he counts his losses and sells the car for parts.
Christian Leadership works in much the same fashion. You have the visionary – Richard and the one who executes the vision – Aaron. Most times the leader of the project has everything they need to complete it, but there are those times when they need to check in with the visionary to ensure the desired goal is manifested.
There is also the understanding that the garage mechanics –affectionately called the Gas Monkeys – have all the equipment they need to be successful as well. During the show you’ll never find the mechanics cutting corners just to complete the job. They take the time to ensure the work is done properly and the restored vehicle is safe for its new owner.
Ministry Leaders in the church must be treated in like fashion. In many circumstances, local congregations are expecting their leaders to cut corners in ministry because of budget constraints. However, vision requires an adequate budget to ensure its effectiveness. Ministry Leaders need ALL THE EQUIPMENT required to complete their assignment within the vision properly.
The final lesson I discovered is the process of restoration. The Gas Monkey Garage Team thrives on restoring cars. This same focus must be the bedrock of THE CHURCH. We are called to restore those who yield themselves to being restored.
When watching Fast n’ Loud you will NEVER see cast members attempt to restore a Ford truck into the likeness of a Model T. They study the original blueprint of the vehicle in order to honor the process of restoration.
THE CHURCH must participate in the restoration of any and all willing individuals. We must understand who those same individuals were before sin. #Hallelujah
The biblical themes in this show are numerous and I could go on and on about its impact, and I will. #MoreToCome
GOOD DAY/NIGHT & GOD BLESS!!!