Study Finds Inverse Relationship Between “Finishing the Work” Sermons and Community Service

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A groundbreaking study conducted by the Adventist Research Institute has uncovered a surprising trend: the more frequently a church hears sermons about “finishing the work,” the less likely its members are to engage in actual community service.

Dr. Ima Researcher, lead author of the study, explained the findings: “We analyzed data from over 500 Adventist churches across North America. Our results show a clear inverse relationship between the frequency of ‘finish the work’ sermons and hours spent on community outreach activities.”

The study found that churches hearing weekly exhortations to “finish the work” averaged just 2 hours of community service per member annually. In contrast, churches that rarely mentioned the phrase logged an impressive 20+ hours per member.

“It seems that constantly talking about finishing the work paradoxically leads to less actual work being done,” Dr. Researcher noted. “We hypothesize that members may believe that simply listening to these sermons counts as ‘working.'”

Local pastor Elder I.M. Preaching defended his sermon style: “If we don’t keep reminding people to finish the work, how will Jesus ever come back? Sure, we may not be feeding the hungry or clothing the naked, but we’re experts at checking our watches and looking skyward expectantly.”

The researchers recommend that churches aiming to increase community involvement should consider replacing “finish the work” sermons with “do the work” sermons, accompanied by actual service opportunities.


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