For a while I’ve been pondering the difficulties that we seem to have getting people involved in service activities at our church. Now, before I get too far down in this posting, I’d like to make these two provisos:
- I understand that the local body is not the only place people can serve
- I understand that it is possible to serve in the local body and still not be advancing the kingdom
Occasionally (or often), I read non-religious books and blog postings. As I was reading Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, I was reminded, again, of the 80/20 principle. I have been aware of the 80/20 principle for some time, which generally applies to a “society” or “community” of interrelated variables (people, products, etc). In the context of people, it would state that:
- 20% of the people have 80% of the wealth.
- 20% of the people do 80% of the work.
- 80% of the people do the remaining 20% of the work.
- 20% of the people create 80% of the problems.
That got me thinking. First, I wonder if we sometimes expect that each person in our “community” will give the same amount – the kind of “work leveling” that we would see in a job. Second, I see that, across the board, no matter how we break it down, 100% of the people do 100% of the work.
As I continued to meditate on these principles, I was reminded that Jesus said that whoever wants to be first must be last and the servant of all (Mark 9:35). In other words, if I want to follow Christ more closely, I must serve more people (do more of the work, etc) – which means I must, by definition, be more involved in my community.