Adults scattered themselves about the library. They sat in little chairs waiting for the students to arrive with their lunch trays. For an hour the adults and students would interact over carrot sticks, chapter books, and board games. This was the Reading Buddy program at Leesburg Elementary School.
The librarian resurrected the program after a two-year hiatus. The school had changed locations and a new business arrived in town. A fresh pool of volunteers was ripe for picking. She made the call; several showed up.
As I scanned the tables, I noticed something interesting: several of adults were the same ones who volunteered at their church, organized the community parade, and served meals at the community fish fry. They were the thin and noble core who came to everything. Without them, little would happen.
A few months later my own neighborhood started a program to build a sense of community. Meetings and picnics crowded our calendars. The same thin and noble core came to every event. The pattern held true at concerts, PTO meetings, church events, and other social gatherings.
Twenty percent of people come to everything. Twenty percent of people do
everything. Eight percent of people come and do few
The thin and noble core holds things together. The thin and noble core makes things happen.
In a world of endless opportunities, limited loyalty, and declining energy, it is more and more challenging to motivate the masses. Worse yet, our technologies give us the illusion that the masses are a click, post, tweet, or text message away from gathering, organizing, and making a great name.
But we would be fools to disparage the core to corral the masses.
In the world of local church ministry, leaders must celebrate the thin and noble core. And invest in the core. And strengthen it.
Questions to Consider:
Who constitutes your core?
Who thinks they are in your core, but you know they are not?
How strong is your core? Where is your core weak?
How do you intentionally invest in your core?