You’ve probably heard of the Pareto Principle or what is commonly referred to as the 80/20 rule. Basically, in church life, it means twenty percent of the people do eighty percent of the work. Some approach church much like one that is a sport’s spectator watching a game. They know exactly how it should be done, and express it not from the field, but from the benches. We occasionally approach church with a “serve-us” spectator mentality, needing to make an active transition from the benches to the trenches. It’s a battle winning souls, discipling believers, and nurturing wounded hearts.
Bob King in his article “The 80/20 Rule in Churches: You Can’t Change it Much, But a Little Goes a Long Way” reveals a common lament among those in volunteer leadership: “why do the same few volunteers seem to be doing all the work?” The adverse consequences, “the super volunteers get burned out, the rest of the congregation feels left out, and management starts looking for a way out (a better job).” He claims that church leaders sometimes use the Pareto Principle as a crutch but should press forward in establishing good volunteer recruitment strategies moving toward thirty percent of the people doing seventy percent of the work.
In my next blog post I will introduce some tips that may help you increase the number of volunteers on your team, in your church, or in your organization.