An American bishop once said to pastors in his diocese that if they wanted to get things done in their parishes, they should ask a busy person. This idea is attributed to one of these persons: statesman Benjamin Franklin, top comedian Lucille Ball, and epigrammatist Elbert Hubbard.
Similarly, Matthew Kelly, a motivational speaker, told a story about a young priest who was frustrated by how few people were actively involved in his parish. Sitting at the same table was a seasoned priest, who was nearly eighty years old. He calmly said to the young priest, “Listen, I have been the pastor of seven parishes over the past forty years, and I can tell you that it doesn’t matter where you go, you will discover the same fifty people who do everything in a parish.”
Kelly wondered if the Pareto principle would apply to church life. According to this principle, also known as the 80/20 rule or the law of the vital few, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes, or 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers or 20% of your products.
In his study of Catholic parishes, he found these numbers:
- Just 6.4 percent of registered parishioners contribute 80 percent of the volunteer hours in a parish.
- Only 6.8 percent of registered parishioners donate 80 percent of financial contributions.
- There is an 84 percent overlap between the two groups.
It's amazing that 80+% of parish life is accomplished by less than 7% of its members. Imagine what 20% of members could do, or even 14%.
His study also found that highly engaged, dynamic Catholics have four things in common:
- Prayer: they have a daily commitment to prayer.
- Study: they are continuous learners.
- Generosity: they have a generous heart.
- Evangelization: they invite others to grow spiritually by sharing the love of God with them.
(For more details, visit dynamiccatholic.com).
Have you been touched by someone whose life is not only for herself or himself but also for the community? Do you want to be like that person?
You are ready to help, but don't know how you can serve our community?
Please call our parish office at 408-725-3939.