"Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few" - Mathew 9:37 (NIV).
There is a powerful marketing principle known as the Pareto principle. Simply, it says 80 percent of results in any worthy venture is dependent on 20 percent inputs. Look at it this way if you follow soccer team it is always a tiny percentage that make the scores for any team.
Those involved in fundraising are aware that out of a field of 100 you are better off concentrating on 20 who are the real givers. Every sales person knows that sales do not come by tapping every door in town, rather identifying those 20 percent likely to buy and focusing on such.
In his ministry Jesus applied the Pareto principle by focusing on a few out of a crowd. He started out with 12 disciples whom he mentored and invested his teachings. Then it is from a dozen faithful that the body of Christ has since extended into a billion followers.
Very often any of us is impressed with having a legion of followers or buyers in whatever undertaking. Many churches are under pressure to make numbers as proof of success of their ministry. But the Jesus principle which he practiced long before Alfredo Pareto made it his own shows that we can and should start by focusing on a few. And from these our influence will extend gradually. In other words none should be discouraged with just a few followers- as long as the right seeds are being sown!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as you started out with a few, today I pray you enable me know the power of investing in a few for growth, this I pray in Jesus's name.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!