Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.

I LOVE BLUE COLLAR WORKERS

I know lots of blue collar workers. I know landscapers, contractors, cabinet makers, electricians, plumbers, truck drivers, tile layers, mechanics, etc. Lots of my friends and several of my volunteers are blue collar people. I’ve got my hands dirty a grip of times with them, done some life with them, and learned a few skills myself from them.

On a grander scale I personally think they are the back bone of much of our country. I also think that in terms of their specific skill set, they are the most under utilized group in the non-profit sector.

Almost across the board, the blue collar workers that I respect and love are:
  • intensely creative
  • detail oriented
  • proud of the work they do when they walk away from it
  • hard working
  • and feel like their professional skill set can’t be utilized in the church.

Now it’s true that it’s not every day that we have tile to lay, pipes to fix, cabinets to build, or electrical lines to run in the church. But when I watch shows like “extreme home makeover”, once I get past my tears, I am inspired and reminded that the heart to help in the blue collar world is over the top. These people LOVE to change lives and make a difference. But with their specific professional tools, clearly they don’t often feel like they are being used for maximum impact. Each episode, builders and workers proclaim, that this has been the greatest joy and the most significant thing they have ever done in the career/life.

I blogged about a success I experienced in using this group in ministry once before here.

I now want to tell you about a friend of mine who is also a volunteer in our ministry. His name is Jason Janik. He essentially runs a business that his mom owns called “Top Notch Manufacturing Inc” and loves to play paintball and hit sling shot carrying high school students in the desert who aren’t looking too 🙂

I could tell you so much I appreciate about Jason in his pursuit of students as a small group leader, his servants heart, his passion to be a good husband and dad, and so much more…. but lately, he has chosen to use his professional skill set to change our ministry. All on his own, without being asked or even a hint from me, he’s initiated, finished, and delivered on two ideas he had.

#1. A CUSTOM WIND SHIELD FOR OUR CHURCH BBQ.

  • Jason saw that in the desert, the wind would pick up and it would blow out the flames in our BBQ, making cooking a seriously annoying task. We tried duct taping tin foil around it one year to keep the wind out, and Jason said to himself, “enough of that, I can fix it.” So he did. Even though a schedule conflict kept him from going to the desert with us this last fall, he delivered on his idea before we left and it was a life saver. It even collapses on top of the BBQ to make it better and cleaner for transporting it. (Below is Matt, cooking on it. Who incidentally, along the same lines, is in charge of our facilities team and noticed the wheels on this BBQ were dumb and on his own, added massive ones to it which make moving it about a billion times better. Man I love get-it-done people.)
#2. A CUSTOM ORNAMENT FOR OUR STUDENTS.
  • Jason’s business has a “waterjet”. Which is essentially a very expensive metal cutting tool that uses extreme water pressure to do the work of cutting a computer generated image out of just about any piece of material, up to like 6″ thick. So, Jason gets this idea that he could use it to make ornaments for our high school group. He rips the logo off our website, re-creates it on his computer, orders the materials, cuts the ornament, shoots me a sample, and says, “Hey, what do you think?” I told him he was a genius and he donated 140 of them for our christmas party and we gave them away as gifts as students left.
Jason. You are the man. My hat is off to you, my very talented, very much appreciated, and very hard working blue collar job man. Thank you for blessing the Kingdom of God with vision, initiative, and your mad professional skills and tools.
PS. If you want hire him to do something like this for your church or business, you should contact him.

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