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Replay: A modern day parable – the subcontractors

Posted by on Jan 12, 2013 in discipleship, spiritual gifts | 1 comment

Three years ago I wrote a modern parable as a blog post called “Modern Day Parable of the Subcontractors.” In many ways, it goes along with the blog series that I’ve been publishing the last few days, dealing with spiritual gifts and serving others and the need of all believers working together. Also, if you’re interested, I explained what the parable means in my post “Parable of the Subcontractors Explained.” But, read the parable (below) first…


Modern Day Parables of the Subcontractors

A man decided to build a house. The builder drew up plans to his exact specifications, then he subcontracted various parts of the project to different craftsmen: a mason for the brickwork, a carpenter for the woodwork, a plumber, an electrician, a roofer, etc. He gave each of the subcontractors a set of plans and asked them to carry out their tasks according to his plans.

When the builder checked on the progress, he found that his house was behind schedule and was not being built to his specifications. In fact, part of the flooring, which should be wood, was made of brick. Some of the plumbing had been replaced with bricks. Even the electrical system and roof including brick, which was not part of his design.

The builder called the mason and asked the mason what happened. The mason explained that he was a master craftsman, much more skilled at his craft than the other subcontractors. When he saw that the carpenter was not as good at woodworking, the mason jumped in and did part of his job. When he saw that the plumber was not as good at plumbing, the mason jumped in and did part of his job. In fact, the mason said, he had to be involved in each part of the project of it would not have been done properly.

The builder promptly fired the mason, explaining: “I gave you the task of laying bricks. I did not ask you to do the carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, or roofing. Instead of following my plans, you decided to run things yourself. You are fired for breech of contract.”

Next, the builder called the other subcontractors and asked them what happened. Each subcontractor in turn explained that the mason was much better at laying bricks that they were at their tasks. When the mason decided to do their tasks as well, they stood back and allowed him to do all the work.

The builder promptly fired all the other subcontractors, explaining: “I gave each of you a specific task. I asked you to do the carpentry, or the plumbing, or the electrical work, or the roofing. Instead of following my plans, you decided to follow the mason’s plans. You are all fired for breech of contract.”

One Comment

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  1. 1-12-2013

    It seems the subs didn’t submit to one another, additionally not following the builders desire. It’s good that the church doesn’t have these issues.