Drew and Jonathan Scott are kind of a big deal on HGTV. They are The Property Brothers. One is a licensed real estate agent who helps would-be home buyers find their dream home in the used housing market. The new, used, dream home is usually a fixer-upper, however. So the other brother is a licensed contractor who comes along side the new homeowners and helps them renovate their new, old home into a new, perfect, gem. The show is addictive.

One more important fun-fact: these guys are 37-year old identical twins! One wears a tie (Realtor) and the other wears plaid (Contractor).

Every leader needs to discern God’s will for their life and vocation. Decisions about calling must be made in the crucible of prayer, study, community, and calling. But this HGTV hit series creates a lens for church leaders to ask a very important set of questions before they take on a new ministry assignment. What are the gifts and abilities that I bring to the mission field?  What talents and abilities do I naturally have or supernaturally need to do this new work of faith?

Do I have what it takes to find and create opportunity for mission and ministry? Am I an innovator? Do I see potential in a location or an idea or a group of people? Can I start something from scratch?

Or am I a renovator?  Do I really prefer to work on the foundation that has been laid by another? Can I take someone else’s vision and build a few framework around it for a new season in the life of a church? Do I have the skills and the temperament to build upon a work?

Am I an innovator? (The Realtor) Or am I a renovator? (The Contractor)

The show can help us see that one role is not better than the other…they’re identical twins! But if one tried to do the job of the other, it wouldn’t work. The chemistry wouldn’t be right. And vice-versa.

We have all seen this sad scenario too often.  A young, gifted leader is sent to the mission field to start a new work. He doesn’t know what to do first. He struggles in a world of limited resources.  He can’t find traction or footing. He is a renovator in an innovators world. After months and months of effort he has gathered only a small group of laity who are skeptical that their new church has a future. It is hard work and he leaves discouraged few years later and the small church closes its doors.

Or we have seen the other side.  A young leader with lots of innovative gifts comes into an existing congregation with an established ministry and program. He starts to change things.  A few years later he is on his way out. Too much change. Too little patience. Stubborn laity. Sacred cows. Train wreck. He was an innovator in a renovators role.

So which Property Brother are you?

Consider the Corinthian. Paul was the innovator. He was sent by God there. He found the people God had called to the early church there. (Acts 18:9) He build the foundation of that first church. (1 Cor 3:10) He was the realtor who scouted out the location and opportunity under God’s direction.  Apollos then came to build upon that work. Paul planted and Apollos watered. Paul was the innovator and Apollos was the renovator.

So before you take that new assignment, start praying and asking God for direction and clarity. Steep yourself in the Scriptures. Consider your calling and your gifts. But also, watch a couple of shows on HGTV. Are you the innovator/realtor who sees opportunity and makes it happen…or are you the renovator/contractor who can see ways to build on a work already started.