The Work of Their Hands
The Work of Their Hands
After high school, Brandon Yates became an electrician. Finally, when he became a master electrician Yates founded KC One, an electrical contracting services company based in Kansas City, Missouri.
Yates said, “Craftsman is a lost word in our day.” He aims to change that by recruiting hardworking high-school graduates with an aptitude for making things. KC One’s apprenticeship program provides on-the-job training and certifications for one or two young electricians each year. “Society teaches these kids that they’ll become losers if they become electricians. My job is to unteach them.”
The perception that the trades offer less status and money, and demand less intelligence, is one likely reason young people have turned away from careers in the trades for several generations. In Yates’s school district, officials recently shuttered the entire shop class program. Scholar Mike Rose says, “In our culture, the craftsman is a muscled arm, sleeve rolled tight against biceps, but no thought bright behind the eye.” Thinking, it’s assumed, is for the office, not the shop.
However, Scripture identifies Jesus himself as a tekton (Mark 6:3, literally “craftsman” or “one who works with his hands”). So, we think it’s high time to challenge the tradesman stereotype, and to rethink the modern divide between white collar and blue collar, office and shop, in light of the Divine Craftsman who will one day make all things new.
Most college graduates have had little, if any, training in repairing a leaky toilet or hardwiring a smoke detector. For an awful lot of college graduates, without help, their pipes would be forever clogged. Without reintegrating the trades back into the liberal arts, we will perpetuate the falsehood that plumbers, electricians, and other skilled laborers are somehow less intelligent.
Possible Preaching Angle:
If there is a renaissance in craftsmanship, it should be welcomed by Christians. After all, we look to a day when we will inhabit a house Jesus has built—a richly prepared mansion that owes its beauty to a single designer and laborer (John 14:2). God is Maker, Creator of the heavens and the earth; and God is Fixer, Redeemer and Restorer of a broken world. As we look forward to the heavenly city, whose Architect and Builder is God (Heb. 11:10), perhaps we owe it to our children and grandchildren to encourage more of them to be makers and fixers, too.