Monday, September 21, 2009

Caught up in Numbers

As of late I have been enamored of Dan Dick and the work he is producing on his blog.

This past week he posted on the metrics of measurement we use to evaluate our churches.

This particular paragraph jumped out at me, as I start to think more seriously about what "Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World" means to me.

A growing number of our churches have stopped counting those who come through our doors. They are more interested in what happens to people after they leave. I spoke to lay and clergy leaders of two smaller Midwestern congregations this week that both have goals of serving the needs of others outside the church, of equipping people to share their faith and monitor how effectively they do it, and of engaging new people in serious spiritual formation and development. They do qualitative evaluation and assessments rather than “counting.” “Oh, we use numbers,” a lay leader told me. “If we served 65 meals last week, our goal is to serve 70 this week. If we got nine volunteers to help out last week, we strive for ten this week. If we have four people equipped to teach a small group this quarter, we aim to have five next quarter. So, yeah, numbers matter, but not as much as understanding how people’s faith and lives are changing.”
The challenge is then bare before me. To build Disciples, and to find ways to measure the quality of that activity. The bigger challenge then is not to worry so much about "adding one more" but "one more adding" to the body of Christ by giving of themselves by their "prayers, presence, gifts and service"

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At September 25, 2009, Anonymous David Youngdale said...

I am reminded here of Acts 2:47- "The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved". How interesting, it wasn't me or you, but THE LORD who added to the church on a daily basis, such as should be saved.
Does this take me or you out of the equation in regards to bringing new people (converts) into the church?? Of course not. However I do feel it relieves alot of the pressure. After all, His yoke is easy, and His burden light. It is not the Lord's will that we all be burdened and saddled down with loads grievous to be borne.
If our hearts are right in God's sight, and as He sees our efforts we are all putting forth every day, it is so good to know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord. I honestly believe we will be amazed at how little effort we all feel we have put in to spreading the Gospel,that God will bless, as long as our motives are pure and true, and of course they are. Believe God for the increase in our churches, for it is Him who gives the increase.


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