The 20/80 Rule is that typically 20% of those who attend the church do 80% of the work/service of the church. I’ve only been serving the church for 4 years, but I’ve found this rule or idea to be absolutely true. It’s not necessarily a rule as much as it is something that leadership at churches notice. Actually, sometimes it seems like the 10/90 rule.
One of the causes of this rule is a consumerist culture that breeds individuals looking to be entertained or even hear messages they agree with as long as nothing is demanded of them. But it is also the result of the way we do church, the way that we market or promote the idea of church. Church, especially here in the south, is primarily a Sunday thing, or if you’re Baptist, a Sunday/Wednesday thing. Which when you think about it, makes it a lot like American Idol, where you watch multiple times a week, you know the songs, even sing along if no ones is watching and anxiously await the comments from the leader of the judges. When church becomes solely about the Sunday worship time, every Christian suffers and the leadership will bear all the burden of actual ministry, which likely explains the moral failures of many a church leader or their family.
What if instead of attending to listen, sing, and be around Christians for social hour, you took ownership of your local church to the point that you partnered with it for its growth and health. The church was never intended to be about only a select few operating in their gifts of preaching and leading worship, it was intended that we all engage in how we have been gifted so that a city can be changed by Jesus’ message carried out through a local congregation working together in word and deed.
If you don’t like the church, it’s because you’re not functioning in the church as you should. Maybe instead of church-shopping to find the best church for you, you find a church and engage in service so that you see others changed.
Until then, 20% of Christians will work to accomplish city renewal and life transformation that they actually need the other 80% of people to accomplish.