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).