Archive for ◊ August, 2015 ◊

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• Monday, August 03rd, 2015

Encore Blog
Do you know the Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule)? For many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Now what does that have to do with a blog about churches in transition!? Well, consider that the Pareto Principle is also called the law of “the vital few.”

When it comes to involvement in a church’s leadership and activities, only about 20% of members get the work done. That dedicated 20% does 80% of the church work. If you’re a regular attendee at your church, you’ve seen this in action. There’s that core group of people who always step up to the various leadership roles; who can always be counted on to “get the job done.”

Churches survive thanks to that committed 20% who often will step out of their comfort zone to take on tasks that others avoid. Run the annual Stewardship campaign? “Well, if no one else is interested, I’ll do it.” Clean the oven after the church supper? “Ugh – but, since it needs to be done – sure.” Organize the high school kids car wash? “Sure, I’ll handle that.”

Sadly, sometimes that hard working 20% is under appreciated and even criticized. “Look at that Sally – always has her hand in on everything.” But the truth is that if the Sallys did not step up, a lot of important church activities would simply not get done.

So what’s this mean to the majority of church members who observe the involvement of others and might even feel a small niggle of guilt about not doing more? If you’re a church member who sometimes feels that you’re on the outside looking in, it may be your own fault.

Churches thrive and grow when members are passionate about their church and their church family. Showing up only on Sunday and sitting in a back pew may be enough church for you, but it may not be enough of you for your church. A church community is built by the community itself. A church may have a gorgeous building and an eloquent pastor, but it can’t go forward and grow without strong underpinnings. The behind-the-scenes church leaders – the Deacons, the Stewards, the Sunday School teachers and so on – have to be in place and strongly committed to their tasks.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of 20% of the church members doing 80% of the work – 80 to 100% of a church’s members worked together faithfully to make decisions and grow their religious community. What a church it would be if everyone said: “Sure – I’ll do that.”