One last day on motivation. Yet there is so much to say. So let me share from a thesis written at Liberty University on the ‘Biblical Use of Rewards as a Motivation for Christian Service.” (See full thesis here)
Having worked in church for quite a while now, I have often heard of the 20-80% rule – 20% of the people give, do, serve 80% of everything a church does. I think it may be closer to 10-90 at some churches, but let’s go with 20-80.
In the church, this thesis puts forth three groups. First, there are those with little or no motivation. With the majority of church members, one finds little difference between them and the world. The reason for lack of motivation may be due to numerous reasons: lack of discipleship, weak leadership, cheap grace, or whatever. The reason is not relevant – the solution is what we should work on. Lack of motivation may result in nonattendance or lukewarmness/simple pew-warmers – and we all know what God thinks of lukewarmness – totally gags Him and He wants to vomit – and I do not want to see that!
A second group are those that are improperly motivated – it could be for greed or status (to be noticed by men) or any number of reasons. Some say that improper motivation is better than no motivation – for at least they are doing something. While it is true that God hates lukewarm and wishes we were hot or cold – but we need to make sure we don’t let improper motivations take anchor or become acceptable just because it is pragmatic. We need to emphasize proper theology, solid discipleship, and strengthening one’s proper Biblical worldview – these can remedy this situation.
The last group are those with proper motivation – to serve the Lord because of who He is and what He has done (loved us, saved us). We are not saved by good works, but we are said for good works (Look at Ephesians 2). Unfortunately, the strain of doing 80% of the work, seeing people skate by, and not seeing fruit for years can wear them down.
Where does this take us? The thesis puts forth rewards as a motivator. It scans the Old Testament and New Testament teachings. It looks at rewards in the present situations but a lot into future rewards as well (Bema Seat, Crowns, etc.) What are we being motivated to do – Obedience. Obedience brings blessings – some now, most in the future. And lack of obedience means loss of rewards. So rewards and loss of rewards are important and are a strong motivators.
But let me bottom line it – There is one thing even stronger – One thing that should motivate every believer – It is all about bringing God glory. When we realize who He is, who we are, where we would be without Him, and what He did to save us – we should want to make sure He gets our very best.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – That my friend is my motivation – I take it to my job, as a parent, in my marriage, and with everything – it is all about Him and His glory. And yes, rewards are cool – but I will throw every crown back at His feet.
Soli Deo gloria – Glory to God alone – that’s a motivation for each of us!