Enjoying the Journey
In the world of finance it is referred to as the Pareto Principle. Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, suggested that 20% of a nation’s people will control 80% of the wealth. This 80/20 rule has been applied to churches, not as it relates to money, but as it relates to manpower. The Lord does not need our money but He is looking for laborers! Frequently I have heard others observe that 20% of the people in a congregation do 80% of the work.
It has been my privilege to serve in churches of every size. Size and spirituality are not always parallel realities. Some people are unduly impressed with or intimidated by large congregations. There is even the common misunderstanding that churches with many attenders have all of the laborers that they need. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Churches large and small have one big need: laborers. This should not surprise us – Jesus taught this truth 2,000 years ago. “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38). No one knows the worker shortage better than the one in charge!
A generation of pastors, missionaries, Sunday School teachers, deacons, youth workers, Christian educators, gospel witnesses, and helpers are aging. Soon they will pass off the scene. Who will take their place?
Our generation needs an army of people who are willing to serve and sacrifice. Laborers who are more consumed with the work than concerned about the benefits. Workers who are not detoured by what it costs or motivated by what it pays.
David’s lasting epitaph was related to him as a servant, not as a king. Scripture records that he “served his own generation by the will of God” (Acts 13:36). Everybody wants to be king but few are willing to be servants. There seems to be no lack of “leaders” in our generation, but God is looking for laborers.
Just days ago the 41st President of the United States was laid to rest. George H.W. Bush had served as both a navy pilot and as commander-in-chief. The U.S. Navy tweeted the following powerful words: “Fair winds and following seas, Sir. We have the watch.”
Others have faithfully served and labored. It is our turn. We have the watch.
It is time for each of God’s people to take their place. We must begin by praying for laborers. This was Jesus prayer request and we should join Him in this prayer. Then…be part of the answer to the prayer. Enlist in the work of God in your local church. Start to serve in some way right where you are. Become a laborer. It is the biggest need in your church.