A psychologist at Stanford University did a little research project. He hired a man as a logger. However, instead of asking him to chop wood, he told him to hit the same log over and over with the blunt end of the ax. He would even pay double the amount he would receive for actually chopping down trees. Sounds like a great deal, right?
Well, the man quit after just a few hours. As he left, he told the researcher, “I have to see chips fly. Otherwise, it’s no fun!” In other words, he needed to see the value in his work, that he was actually making a difference.
How many of our volunteers feel the same way? If what we ask them to do are menial tasks or mindless busywork that don’t use their gifts, they are like that logger using the dull end of the ax. However, when we help them find areas to serve that allow them to put their gifts and talents into action, that’s when the fun starts. When our people begin to see the fruit of their service, the “chips,” we won’t be able to keep them away.
I challenge you to find one person on your team to share this story with. Then ask them a couple of questions:
How would you know if you were using the dull or the sharp edge of the ax?
Which one would you say you are using in your current ministry role and how do you feel about that?
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