I have often heard preachers and others use the adage, “10% of the people do 90% of the work,” in reference to the church. I would like to take a few moments to debunk this particular idea.
Using our congregation of about 50 as an example, that would mean that a total of 5 people do nearly everything within the congregation; for a congregation of 100 that number would be 10. Friends, I can tell you from years of experience that is simply not true.
The problem often lies in what we determine to be “work.” We often consider the “work” to be participating in the public services and being at the forefront of observable programs within the congregation. However, there is a flaw in this reasoning, we have turned the work of the Christian into nothing more than public notoriety. But the work of Christianity goes far beyond what we often think. We have many examples of those that worked behind the scenes, but surely were known for their work. People like Jason (Acts 17), Tabitha (Acts 9), Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18), and many others. Consider who we leave out when we make such broad statements…
– What about the Christians who work to clean the building and do maintenance on the grounds?
– What about the Christians who send cards, make phone calls, and take food to the sick and needy, or simply those they want to encourage?
– What about the Christians who, though unable to do certain public duties, make it their mission to support and encourage (both financially and verbally) those who can?
– What about the Christians who give of their finances to mission works and the poor?
– What about the Christians who give of their time to teach Bible classes, or open their homes for church functions?
Though there are many other areas we could consider, I believe this suffices to show that there are many more avenues of work than we often consider in the body of Christ. It is true that we do not all have the same abilities, nor do we have the same tools at our disposal (1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4:16; etc.). We need to ensure we give equal value to all of the works of the body of Christ, not just those that are the most public and receive the most public recognition (1 Cor. 12:14-20).
While it may be true that 10% of Christians LEAD 90% of the works, there is a vast difference between leading others in work and being the only one involved. It is impossible for the work of the church to be accomplished by only 10% of the members. We should instead be arguing that 100% of the work is accomplished by 100% of the congregation; and before we begin looking at fellow members with the attitude that they “are not doing anything,” maybe we should first consider that we might not know all of the things they strive to do in the service of the Master.
God bless his people as they continue to strive for the cause of Christ by every means available to them.