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Leave it to the ministers,

And soon the church will die;

Leave it to the women folk,

And some will pass it by;

For the church is all that lifts us

From the coarse and selfish mob,

And the church that is to prosper

Needs the laymen on the job.

Now a layman has his business,

And a layman has his joys,

But he also has the training

Of little girls and boys;

And I wonder how he’d like it

If there were no churches here

And he had to rear his children

In a godless atmosphere.

It’s the church’s special function

To uphold the finer things,

To teach the way of living

From which all the noble springs;

But the minister can’t do it

Single-handed and alone,

For the laymen of the country

Are the church’s corner stone.

When you see a church that’s empty,

Tho’ the doors are opened wide,

It’s not the church that’s dying;

It’s the laymen who have died;

For it’s not by song or sermon

That the church’s work is done;

It’s the laymen of the country

Who for God must carry on.

(Ibid, p.104; Poem by Edgar A. Guest).