In church life, it is said that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. If that rule holds true, 80% of the church congregation may be considered consumers in the way they do church. They may ask, what can I get out of this?
While it may not be true for every congregation, for many of the 80 percent, as theologian David Wells has reminded us, the church is a place to come and receive religious services and goods. If their needs are not met, they begin church shopping.
I was thinking about the 20/80 rule last week and it struck me that if those 20% do most of the work in the church, there is a good chance that they are also more involved than most in the things that intersect with their life outside of church. Volunteering opportunities such as room parent, planning parties, volunteer coach, work activities, babysitting, food pantry, neighborhood involvement, hospital volunteer, community council and the list goes on and on and on. So, if you find yourself in the 20%, you probably find that your services are in great demand every time you look over your shoulder.
On a given Sunday morning, it takes over 75 active volunteers to make Sunday school and church happen here at Evermore. Every week.
Seventy-five people have made some sacrifice by preparing a lesson, coming to church early, not being in the service or maybe not getting to sit with their family. We have tried more and more to get more volunteers so they do get a chance to come and be in church with their family. Even more volunteers serve at the church outside of Sunday mornings, or if the rule applies, the same people are serving Sunday and throughout the week again.
What are some hinderances to serving?
- Unknown expectations
- No end date specified
- Not feeling appreciated
- Sometimes it’s hard
- Season of Life
So, why do I or why should I serve? Often, we serve because we have had our own lives deeply met by Christ and the church and out of that, we desire to help others in their need. Good serving, no matter where we serve, comes out of a heart to please God and a desire to help others. Serving should not be a burden. We, as a church are one body and we need all of our parts to be functioning to be healthy.
1 Peter 4:8-11. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Use your gifts (yes, you have them) to serve each other so that in everything, God may be glorified. Be creative in serving. Once again, Peter reminds us that it’s not about us. Evermore Community Church is not about us. Our gifts are not about us. Our time in serving is not about us. It’s about God and furthering His Kingdom.
That being said, our priority in life is serving God and being faithful to what he has called us to. At the start of this new year, commit to prayer and fasting. Spend time listening to God. Where has he called you to serve during this season of life?
However, in 1 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul is clear, the body does not consist of one member but of many. And the apostle Peter is even more explicit, “… As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10). This is how God designed the church. And God calls each and every individual to serve the body with the gifts they have been granted.
The simple truth of the matter is that Christ came to seek and save the lost so that the saved would serve one another and seek the lost. In fact, it is very clear from the New Testament that by the fruit of one’s life, others can observe the genuineness of their salvation. Church consumers attend church to have their needs met.
True members of the church have been served to deeply by Christ, that their needs are abundantly met, and that flows over into their desire to meet other’s needs. The church body is just that, a body. And a body needs all of its parts functioning in order to be healthy. The question is, if you have been saved, are you being a good steward of God’s gracious gifts?