Do Numbers Matter?

  1. ministry_matters 2012 Mar 29 10:47AM

    Attendance, membership, baptisms, giving . . . these are things all churches keep track of. But to what extent are they a measure of congregational vitality?

  2. Sam J. 2012 Mar 29 3:14PM

    "Living things grow," is my motto on this topic. Bigger isn't better because it's big. It's big because people want to go there. Whether the reason they want to go is a good reason or a bad one is a matter of debate, but I believe that in most cases, churches that grow grow because they're doing something right.
    (And for what it's worth, I think most people who criticize big churches do so out of jealousy and resentment. Not everyone; there can be valid causes for criticism, but I urge you to check your heart before critiquing a growing church.)
    (And, for the record, I am not a megachurch pastor myself!)

  3. magelkyc 2012 Apr 12 5:43PM

    The only measure of Church vitality is the growing of God's Kingdom.  The purpose of every church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ, but how do we measure this?  Numbers such as how many members, baptisms, and professions of faith, are one way we can measure this but what about all the people we reach that don't want to join the church, but come to have faith in Christ?  What about all the people who are affected in indirect ways by the ministries of the congregation?  What about the continued faith development of the current congregation?  
    There are many things that account for the vitality and effectivness of a congregation.  Numbers only tell a small portion of what is really going on.  Numbers are one tool out of many that can be used to determine the vitality of a congregation.  As long as numbers aren't the only thing used to determine the vitality of a congregation, they can be a valuble tool, as long as they are used in conjunction with other things, in figuring out the best way to make disciples.

  4. M1 2012 May 1 9:49PM

    I've probably been reading for too long, but I would like to add one thought. Whenever I hear people say, "Living things grow," I would like to point out that once I reached adulthood, I haven't really grown (well, OK, but I'm on WeightWatchers since the new year). Apart from the grass on my lawn and the trees providing shade (i.e., the plant world), what keeps physically growing larger (like a successful or "vital" church) in the animal world?  Remember, you and I are created in the image of God. What critter that resembles us continues to physically grow after reaching adulthood? Shouldn't the folks I visit in the nursing homes be about 14 feet tall by now? Just a thought. Back to my reading...