A desire for growth – it’s natural. We want our gardens to grow. We want our kids to grow. We want our retirement accounts to grow. Then, when the conversation turns to the church, we become bashful. We begin tripping over ourselves trying to find the perfect combination of words so we are not accused of being ‘concerned with numbers’ and appearing shallow.
The church is the only organization that is solely designed for those outside the organization. The goal is to include more people. The goal is to disciple more people. The very nature of the church is to minister to people and help them experience the message. We are called to invite people into life! The very nature of the mission of the church means growth… “I will make you fishers of men.”
I’m not naive in knowing there can be abuse when it comes to church leaders and numbers. God help those leaders who are stuck in a ministry number comparison game or worse, basing their sense of self worth on numbers in their ministries.
But numbers represent people. How do we measure growth without numbers? How do we know when we are being effective without measuring the outcomes? How can you know what works if you have no idea who responds and how? Why did the book of Acts so carefully clarify the numbers of people added to the church? Our careful record of numbers will help us know how to take the next step in strategy of leadership and ministry.
When you have a healthy vision of growth and desire to see more people experience God’s power in and through your ministry, it becomes a holy attraction. People are attracted to a vision that involves a kingdom sized outcome!
So, live big! Celebrate! If the numbers aren’t going up, then figure out what needs to be changed. Never make excuses or apologize for wanting the church to grow. It is indeed designed to do so.