“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no
deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is
without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish
you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical
needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not
accompanied by action, is dead.” – James 2:14-17 NIV
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I’ve Tweeted on Twitter about it. Shared my frustration about it, even heard it
mentioned in a Sunday Morning Small Group.
It started one day at lunch when I stood in line at the local McFast Food restaurant and noticed that though my line was
6 or 7 people deep there was only one lady working the front counter. She feverishly worked the line as folks hemmed
and hawed about what they wanted to order while other McDoodle employees were off to the side laughing and joking
almost to the point of obnoxious.
Now, I’m all abut having fun at work… but I’m even more about getting the job done… taking care of the customer…
and meeting and exceeding the expectations of that customer. I guess it comes from my 22 years in the service industry.
Now, as the 7th person back in the fast food line, I found myself getting more and more frustrated as I watched the one
counter worker doing her best… saw the drive-thru girl hustling to get food out the window… and counted 8 in the
laughing and joking not doing nothing… I even made eye contact with a number of the loafers, but still nothing.
Finally, I ordered… got my drink cup… and waited on my food… and thanked the young lady for hustling like she was
and wondered aloud about her lack of help (loud enough for someone to hear me I’m sure)…Her eyes rolled and a smile
came upon her face when finally one of the 8 broke away from the pack to ask, “May I help the next guest”
And the party on the food line slowly broke up… Some going back to the grill area… some to the lobby area… and I shook
my head in disbelief as some went outside for a smoke break.
The 80/20 Rule: Where 20% of the people do 80% of the work… and vice versa.
We can see this played out live in my McFly experience… but we can also see it live and in person in most any local church
where 80% of what needs to be done is done by 20% of the church…
Over the past week I’ve tweeted and wondered aloud… where are the 80%? Not just at the fast food restaurant… but at the
church as well.
Now, let’s make one thing clear. Whether we choose to get involved or not… work in the church or not… volunteer for a
project or not… play in the band or sing with the Praise Team or not…come to the service, sit on your hands and leave or
not… in no way affects our salvation. Salvation is a free gift of grace from God. We can’t earn it… we can’t work to get it or
more of it. It is what it is: God’s gift of His Son for us.
That being said… Where are the 80%?
Where are the others who can make the line go faster?
Where are the Sunday School workers?
Where are the Infant sitters?
Where are the visitors of the sick?
Where is the set up and tear down crew?
Where is the car parking crew?
Where are the prayer warriors?
Where are the volunteers?
It always seems to be the same 20 doing what would be so much easier, better, stronger, more effective, more efficient, more
purposeful, more people reached for Christ if the other 80 volunteered their gifts and talents as well.
Our expectation seems to be that we give the pastor our thoughts and ideas and expect him (or he and his team) to go do it.
We expect to be entertained. We go to worship on Sunday and leave it behind until next Sunday.
“But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?” – James 2:18-20 NIV
All I’m saying is this… It’s time to get out of the pew and do something… Do anything… Do something… Put your faith to
work. See what needs to be done… and go do it.
Keep the Faith… Carpe Diem