As Steven Furtick explains:
The number of lives that Jesus can permeate and penetrate with the gospel.
The number of marriages that can be restored.
The number of teenagers following the Lord.
The number of depressed people that can find hope in Jesus.
The number of dads who don’t give their kids any attention who will learn to order their lives by the Word of God and start prioritizing their families.
Perry Noble succinctly summarises why numbers matter:
Every number has a name, every name has a story, every story matters to God.
Noble expands on the same topic, calling leaders to talk about numbers:
“Pastor, church leader…I say SHARE the numbers, talk about the numbers, BUT when you do so do it with the understanding that you are BOASTING in what GOD is doing and be VERY quick not to celebrate yourself…
If your church was averaging 100 people this time last year and this year you have 150…TELL SOMEBODY about it, DON’T HOLD BACK what THE LORD is doing in your church!!! BOAST IN HIM AND HIS WORK!!!”
In response to pastors who say “when you share your numbers it can make other churches feel bad”:
“My competition is NOT other churches…it’s with the enemy…and my passion is not to make other churches feel good or bad but rather to partner with God in rescuing as many people from hell as possible. (AND…according to the words of Jesus in Luke 15 when one sinner repents of his/her ways—btw Jesus used a number—there is a PARTY in heaven!)”
You can read part 2 from Perry’s friend here, where he expands:
“If the numbers only represent dollar signs then they become a success-o-meter by which, in business work or the church, we feel more profitable or holy than our competitors. But if numbers represent things we value, like people and relationships, suffering and injustice, or those who have never heard the gospel, then I suggest they indeed matter greatly, not just to us, but to God as well.”
Let’s talk about the numbers. Let’s celebrate the numbers. Let’s give thanks to the God who gives growth.
But a warning:
“Let me be clear–I AM NOT AGAINST NUMERICAL GOALS. They can be great motivational tools. I think that they have dangers, and particularly severe dangers when allowed to hold firm in a culture of churches and church leaders that go less and less to Scripture and more and more to business, pscyhology, the health professions for pragmatic answers. I could go on, but you all know what I mean.”
Deryck emailed in with this reminder:
“And as Andrew Heard and others point out, we have to ask the question as to why Luke records numbers of converts to The Way in Acts.”