We, the People in the Workplace
by Michael Tummillo
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Perhaps you've heard the statistic that 97% of ALL Christians are merely spectating while a whopping 3% do all that is necessary to keep the ministry going.
Others may be familiar with something referred to as the 80-20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle and the Law of the Vital Few, which is applicable to everything from 80% of property being owned by 20% of the population or 80% of all sales come from 20% of clients. Likewise, 20% of the world's richest people control 80% of its wealth and 80% of all crimes are committed by 20% of all criminals.
I could go on and on. It's an amazing formula which holds true, amazingly, 80% of the time! It can even be applied to the local church where 20% of the congregants do 80% of the work.
Great big but greatly ineffective
While traveling yesterday, I began to ponder this formula. Whether it's 3% doing everything or 20%, point is, most Christians are settling for “fire insurance” while the rest are taking care of the responsibilities required to run a church building, answer phones, mow lawns, handle payroll, print bulletins, and all the day-to-day happenings associated with running the holy operation.
Comparatively very little is spent on direct ministry to the Body.
While visiting a company in another town over 3 hours away, I contacted a local church in an effort to assist an employee with some benevolence. She had already informed me that all the churches she'd contacted had told her they had no money to help her.
Across this nation, one institutional church after another spends far more on salaries and overhead than they spend on benevolence. This is not the case in my own church, a group who has been meeting in a home for 7 years and pays no salaries or overhead. We are often looking for places to sow our seed; what a wonderful problem!
A denominational church in Dallas, Texas is in the process of building a $15 MILLION facility. I couldn't help but wonder why they weren't building fifteen $1Million facilities all over town, training and equipping people in those areas as missionaries to those communities.
Crazy thought, I know. Does anyone see the dismal failure associated with his church-as-usual mindset? We OBVIOUSLY cannot mobilize the Lord's Army based on this mission – the shrinking numbers of the Institutional church bear this out. Church as we know it is rarely motivating. In general, it's not exciting and fails to satisfy. Rarely are lives being changed. After all these years, it might seem impossible to hit “restart” on American Christianity but I contend that we must and have done so in my own life, and not without criticism. Sadly, many will cling to manmade doctrines and traditions and settle for doing church in the prescribed manner rather than take such a suggestion seriously.
Jesus Christ, Super Starfish
Ever read “The Starfish and the Spider”? The basic premise is this: If you crush a spider's head, the creature dies; cut off the leg of a starfish and it grows into another starfish. It's a principle we see in the Tea Party Movement where no one is in charge and it continues to grow; it's a starfish organization. Neither The Church nor the Government can reach maximum potential as a “spider” entity. Forward thinking Business Owners can take a cue here, too.
The demise of the Tea Party movement would come about if those involved ever decided to “get organized.” If they got a Headquarters building, a P.O. Box, drew up some by-laws, elected some officers... yawn! They'd lose their effectiveness. I've met with many in the House Church Movement who have embraced that same attitude, saving all their offerings so that, one day, they could buy some property and erect a building!
A move of God?
Just ask Billy Graham.
Billy Graham has been quoted as saying, “I believe the next great move of God will take place among Believers in the workplace.”Yes, there's another movement afoot which is growing without a human head; its Head is Jesus Himself and it's happening where most of us spend up to 70% of our lives: the workplace.
It's being referred to as The Faith at Work Movement and it's happening in the hearts of men and women across denominational lines. It gives the phrase “Workers, unite!” a whole new meaning. Sadly, many ministers have created bolt-on programs in their churches in an effort to acknowledge this Move of God, or they've ignored the movement all together. That's too bad because this movement is already burning within the hearts of people on assembly lines, in conference rooms, in factories and warehouses, and skyscrapers all over the world as lovers of Jesus leave their denominational hat at the door in an effort to minister life to the hurting within the ranks of the workforce. Once Employees hear about the movement, it resonates with them and they get excited about the possibilities.
Can every working Christian possibly have a valid ministry?
Unfortunately, there remain many Christians who are motivated by fear of something called “the Separation of Church and State.” It's a deception found nowhere in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or any of our nation's founding documents. The fear feeling stems from overactive imaginations. They quake at the notion of their name being mentioned on the news, a lawsuit because of their faith, losing an account, being ostracized by the Chamber of Commerce, things that so rarely, if ever, actually happen. Over the past 60 years, there's not been one lawsuit against a Chaplain in the workplace, even in situations where the staff was mostly of a non-Christian religion. That's because a Chaplain is there to help, not convert.
This isn't about Religion; it's about Relationship.
Just yesterday, I ministered the love of Jesus to a woman whose spouse had abused her and her child, his stepchild. Another woman I met was about to be evicted. Another's son had just committed suicide 2 weeks prior. There were others. All together, I ministered to and prayed with nearly a dozen people under one roof at one facility during working hours.
I had lunch with a business man last week, the Manager of a factory with 700 employees, 50,000 worldwide. He wisely stated, “We give our people a nice shirt with a company logo, a weight room and a nice break area but we neglect their spiritual side...” He went on to tell me how, in one predominately Catholic nation where he worked, he would have been in hot water with the union if he had NOT allowed a priest to say mass in the plant on Catholic Feast Days.
We are Body, Soul & Spirit and, unless ALL our needs are being met, we cannot expect hurting Employees to function on all cylinders. There's a massive army on bivouac, waiting for the clarion call to arms. It's the Army of God, working Christians who each have a ministry for which the time has finally come.Join our ranks, won't you? Timing is critical.
NOTE: If you are retired or former denominational minister who may be interested in receiving Endorsement as a Workplace Chaplain through this ministry, please ask. REMEMBER, if your church, business or civic organization would appreciate the benefit f a Guest Speaker on this subject, I receive such bookings all year long. Clear your calendar NOW!
Founder, The Church @ Work (TCAW)
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