You Pick the Line

When my lovely Bride and I go shopping together, we use a system. The technique works like this. I pick up the products, and she chooses the checkout line. We’ve developed his over a twenty-year trial period.

What we discovered over that time was this. Many times, my spouse would grab an item from a shelf, and when we arrived at the counter, there was no price tag on it. I’m guessing that’s because she doesn’t care what things cost.

On the other end of the routine, I can’t ever seem to choose the best checkout line. There could be one person in one line and four in the next. Naturally, I would choose the line that placed only one guy ahead of us. In the meantime, the other four would breeze through while we stood for an hour as the one person ahead of us was getting painstakingly processed.

More Aware of Her Surroundings

My wife, for whatever reason, has the knack of picking out the swiftest line. I think it’s because she’s far more aware of her surroundings than I (at least, that’s what she keeps telling me—and she’s probably right).

So, at some point, I said, “From now on, how about I pick the product, and you pick the line.” She quickly agreed, and thus we have a system. Astoundingly enough, it seems to work like a charm. Our efficiency rating is astounding.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that things work best when everyone involved in any pursuit does what they do best. Different folks have various talents, gifts and abilities. It’s only common sense that we should tap into their strong suits. Often, however, that’s not what happens.

The 80/20 Rule

Did you ever hear of the 80/20 rule? I’m guessing you have. But just in case you haven’t, it goes something like this. Eighty percent of the work is done by twenty percent of the people. If that’s true (and it often seems that way), that means we are way less efficient than we could be.

The church is no exception to this. What’s worse, there’s no excuse for it. The Scriptures are pretty clear. The Body of Christ is full of people who have been gifted by the Holy Spirit of God to do the work of the Lord here on earth. If the saints of the church are gifted as the Bible indicates (and I believe they are), we are, in many cases, derailing the God’s will for our congregations. Twenty percent of our congregants are doing eighty percent of the ministry.

There’s a reason we’re called the Body of Christ. I’ve noticed a few simple facts about my own, physical body over the years. When I overuse one part of my body (let’s take the feet, for example), I get blisters, cramps, and soreness. The Apostle Paul was quite clear about each part of the body doing its job—carrying out the function it was prepared to do.

Are you shouldering your part of the load?

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently pastor of Smith Chapel in Great Falls, VA.]

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