Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0
He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury; and he saw a poor widow put in two copper coins. And he said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had.” Luke 21:1-4
Good morning Prayer Team!
Do you want to be in the 7% or the 93%?
I was recently listening to a homily by a Catholic priest named Fr. Larry Richards (by the way, I will quote him occasionally in these reflections and I highly recommend listening to some of his YouTube video sermons/presentations, very insightful and despite his being Catholic, a lot of it is just for general Christianity) talk about how in the Catholic Church, 7% of the people are doing the majority of the work. The remaining 93% are doing practically nothing. I don’t know what the statistics are for mainline Protestant Church and not even sure we have any kind of statistic like this for the Orthodox church, through I’d venture to say that if we did, we’d get similar results. So, Fr. Larry says, and I concur with these thoughts, that there are certain characteristics for the people who comprise the seven percent:
- They have a consistent prayer time. If you ask one of the committed Christians how do you pray, they don’t have to think because they do it the same way, the same time, the same place each day.
- They are “crazy” generous-they give the most money because they “tithe.” It’s funny because Fr. Larry talks about “bingo” being the scourge of the Catholic Church. You might say the same thing about the Orthodox Church-without our festivals, without the non-Orthodox coming to buy our food, we probably have no church. If “every good and perfect gift is from Above,” then all the money we earn is really from God. It’s HIS. So, giving Him 10 percent of what is HIS shouldn’t be that big a deal. And yet it is for most of us. How about 5%? How about 2%? The fact is that most churches would be have money and to spare if people gave 2% of their earnings. Imagine what we could do with 10%! These people are not generous because of the amount they give, but because of the percentage they give!
- They are evangelists-they bring other people to Christ. It’s not just about me and God, but about me and God and everyone else. Me and everyone else. Me and God. Everyone else and God.
- They study-they go to retreats, they read, they study, they learn. They are always striving to grow in their knowledge of the faith. If knowledge is power, then the more knowledge one has about Christianity, the more power it stands to have in a person’s life.
So, today’s question to ponder as you go through your day, do you want to be in the 7% or the 93%? This is one of those occasions where you DON’T want to go along with the crowd!
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of today. I know that I might not always be the best example of what it is to be a Christian, that whatever I am doing, I can do better. I ask that You help me to be a better Christian, starting today. Help me to develop a consistent prayer life. Help me to trust You in giving generously of time and resources. Help me have the courage and confidence to talk about You with others. And help me manage my time efficiently, so that there is time to study and to learn more about You. Thank You for loving me. Help me to do a better job of loving You, today and always. Amen.
Have a great day!
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