I was reminded by Travis Stephens’ titled “The Best & Worst Ways to Recruit Volunteers” that we often throw away valuable resources into systems, events, projects, etc that don’t return good results. The change needs to start with us.

I’ve seen people throw around the 80/20 rule in absurd numbers, but sometimes there’s no better way to describe the situation.

The 80/20 Rule

80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.
80% of the sales come from 20% of the SKUs.
80% of the value comes from 20% of the work.

And so on.

The same is true with churches:

80% of the work is done by 20% of the congregation.
80% of the tithes is given by 20% of the people.
80% of the new people come from 20% of the invite strategy.

These numbers are obviously not solid, concrete facts, but the general idea that the 80/20 rule is meant to communicate is that there many areas in our churches that need to be focused on, and other areas that need to be pruned back. I’m sure there are areas in your ministry where the 80/20 rule rings true. And that’s the area that needs to change.

Imagine that if 80% of your results in “x” is driven by only 20% of your efforts, what would happen if you doubled those efforts? What if you stopped one ministry in order to emphasize another? What if you stopped using your money in one place in order to invest it in another?

The answer is different for everyone, but the principle is this:

Find what works, and do more of that.

Let’s commit to doing less of what has proven fruitless, and focus on what works.

Some examples of things to look into could be:

  • What has brought in (and retained) the majority of your volunteers?
  • What has brought in the most amount of new people (recently)?
  • What has been the reason most people have stayed?
  • What has brought about the most change in the lives of your people?

The list goes on, but I’d love to hear from you, what has worked, what hasn’t, and how are you going to invest in the things that do?

Leading others in spiritual disciplines
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