What’s your Job?

Chief Hayden at a fire in Merion earlier this year. Photo Pete BannanThere is an old story about a fire chief who called his men together one night and gave them a pep talk.  He started out saying, “Men, we are firefighters and we fight fires.”  As he continued the meeting he began to talk to them about each one was important and that they each had a vital role to play in the ongoing work of the firehouse.

“Joe, you are responsible for keeping the trucks in top operating condition.  Change the oil, fill up the fuel tanks, do the tune ups, all that sort of stuff.”


“Mike, you take charge of the hoses.  We have to have reliable hoses that are rolled properly and carefully inspected for leaks.”


“Javier, you need to be sure that all the axes and other tools on the trucks are in good repair and placed back where they belong after each use.”

The chief went on down the list of men giving each one responsibility for various segments of their life in the firehouse.

The next day he called them all together and asked, “Men — what is our job here at this fire station?”  One by one they each listed off the responsibility given the day before…. hoses, truck, tools, etc.

In a rare exhibition of anger the chief threw his helmet on the floor and left the building in disgust.  As the men stood there looking at each other an old retired firefighter sitting in the corner piped up….

“Gentlemen — I believe that your job is to fight fires!”

A friend of mine shared a stat with me today:  In a large “mega-church” in a western state the researcher found only 12 people who saw their primary responsibility as a disciple as evangelism.

In the modern American church we sometimes forget that we are first and foremost disciples of Jesus and His primary job for disciples is “make disciples”.

We take on other responsibilities, and get involved in other things AS A RESULT OF BEING A DISCIPLE AND AS A MEANS OF MAKING DISCIPLES, but the main thing — our job is fighting fires (making disciples).

So what’s you job?


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