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The 80% Rule Is Dumb!

Village Church,

On Sunday you heard me say “The Eighty Percent Rule is dumb!” Then we all said it together – “The Eighty Percent Rule is dumb!” It sounded like you meant it. So I want to reiterate it just one more time – “The Eighty Percent Rule is dumb!”

For those of you who aren’t familiar, or weren’t with us Sunday, the Eighty Percent Rule, as it’s called, says that when a room is eighty percent full, people stop inviting others to come because they’re afraid there won’t be enough seats, or that someone will be inconvenienced in some way.

To be fair, The Eighty Percent Rule has been recognized by some churches to be a kind of legitimate standard for a few decades. But with that said, I’m not trying to be fair, I’m trying to walk by faith. The Eighty Percent Rule didn’t seem to apply to Spurgeon in the Metropolitan Tabernacle in the 1860’s. It didn’t seem to apply to Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel in the 1960’s. It hasn’t seemed to apply to Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill in the 2000’s, and it hasn’t seemed to apply to countless churches in countless places around the world who we’ll never know.

I’m certainly not trying to compare myself, or any of our pastors, to Spurgeon, Smith, Driscoll or other incredible pastors and leaders around the world, or to presume that what happened in their midst must in ours, but I am most certainly convinced that although we operate at a different scale in terms of numbers of people, we know the same Spirit is at work in our midst.

It’s a good thing that a few men didn’t stop to think about The Eighty Percent Rule in Mark 2:1-12, when they brought their friend to a crowded house where there was literally no room for them or their friend, who needed both physical and spiritual healing from Jesus. It was a good thing they believed that their friend would hear from Jesus there, that He would be touched by Jesus there, no matter the crowd, so they brought him anyway.

Now I’m not trying to compare myself, or any of our pastors, to Jesus, much less Spurgeon, Smith, Driscoll or others. But I do believe that Jesus is present in our midst as we gather every Sunday as His people, to hear His Word, expecting Him to work in our lives and the lives of the people we bring, just as much as He was in that house in Capernaum.

So please don’t stop to think this week about The Eighty Percent Rule. Instead, keep doing what you’re doing. Keep walking by faith. Keep inviting your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. Don’t worry if there will be enough room. Jesus will make a way. Don’t worry who will be inconvenienced – it will be our leaders, and they’ll be glad to be inconvenienced in any way for anyone who needs to hear about Jesus.

This week will be an especially good week to invite someone who doesn’t know Jesus, as we’ll continue our new series, “All In,” looking at 1 John 1:1-4 in a message I’m calling, “All In Because Its All True.”

Let me say it one more time – “The Eighty Percent Rule is dumb!”

See you Sunday.

Pastor Matt