Division of Labour

Tonight, I went to an Emmaus gathering where the special guest was Bill Harper, National Lay Director of Chrysalis and Emmaus in Australia. He had lots of interesting things to say, but one that particularly caught my mind was one where he talked about the split within Emmaus, and within the Church at large.

This CartoonChurch.com cartoon by Dave Walker originally appeared in the Church Times.

This split I’m talking about is the Division of labour, where (as this cartoon so eloquently explains) 20% of the people to 80% of the work, and 80% of the people do 20% of the work. Bill said that in order to experience real growth amongst the community, you had to combat this idea, and get people involved. But, you had to recognise that people see this split, and if they’re part of the 80% who do 20% of the work, and you ask them to do more, then they’re thinking they’ll have to become part of the 20%, and do everything.

Instead, he proposed having people look after one specific aspect of the community. For example, have one person who’s only job is to look after the elements for communion – make sure that they’re there, and that’s it. Or have someone who is the person to organise the bible readings.

It got me thinking as to how it would apply in my Church. Instead of having a band director who would organise to have all the music photocopied for the players, have someone whose job it is to get there that bit early, and photocopy the music. Or have someone who’s role is to ensure that the sanctuary is tidy at the end of each meeting. Or someone whose job it is to get the names of new people and make sure that it gets to the officers.

The idea is that by dividing up these small jobs, you then get more and more people involved in the running of the corps/church/community, and from there, if they decide to step up and do more, it’s not so much of a step, where as going from nothing to doing everything is a massive leap and difficult for them to commit to.

How could your church involve more members in doing regular tasks?

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Author: Ben Clapton

I'm an Officer in The Salvation Army, currently appointed with my wife as Corps Officers at the Rochester Corps in country Victoria (20 minutes out of Echuca). I play violin and guitar, amongst many others, and love golf and running.

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