Tue, 12 April 2016
You’ve heard the 80/20 rule: supposedly 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. But is the 80/20 rule valid? For those who are the reliable go-getters, it feels true. The reliability of the 80/20 rule was explored recently by Yuki Noguchi in an NPR article titled “Before You Judge Lazy Workers, Consider They Might Serve A Purpose.” Noguchi reports that every system has people who contribute significantly less than others, and researchers looked to a colony of ants to test their theories. They found that 20% to 30% of ants simply don’t contribute to the community. However, the presence of the slacker ants actually made the group more resilient and effective because they could step in when an emergency hit. In this Persuasion episode, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson consider how the 80/20 rule applies both in work and in the church. Scripture affirms the value of each person—even those we perceive as less effective members of our group. Those of us who have more gumption must be cautious about the way we judge the effectiveness of the weaker members in our midst. In addition, God calls us to be faithful with the gifts He’s given us, so we must be sober in assessing where we lean toward laziness.