Work Day

By Dennis Bratton

(From our series “The Best or Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received.”)

Dennis Bratton
Dennis Bratton

It was going to be the biggest and best church workday I’d ever organized. Dozens of leaders were assigned specific tasks, given a team of workers, and provided with tools and supplies. Donuts and coffee would greet everybody at 7 a.m. sharp. I’d done my work. All that remained was to carry my clipboard around checking off boxes.

Rudy Williams, an elder and leader in our congregation, called Friday night and said, “Meet me at church at 5 a.m. sharp.” When I got there he handed me a rake and said, “Come with me.”

One of the jobs I’d scheduled was laying sod around the new Family Life Center. The sod was waiting, and plenty of people were already assigned to that task. But Rudy started at one corner of the building and began raking the soil to prepare it for the sod. When everybody showed up at 7 a.m. we had raked around the entire building! I was dirty and sweaty. I had blisters so big on my preacher hands that I couldn’t even hold my clipboard.

When I asked Rudy why we’d done that, he simply said, “Never ask people to work harder than you’re willing to work.” Good advice!

Dennis Bratton, a retired minister, serves as executive director with KORE Foundation.

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