This is part six in a continuing series, Is Church Growth the Highway to Hell?
“A church that has no interest at all in increasing its number of converts is, in essence, saying to the rest of the world, ‘You can all go to hell.'” -Rick Warren in The Purpose-Driven Chruch (52)
I don’t know of many churches that actually have no interest in bringing people to Jesus, so I’m not sure that’s the real issue. It’s often an argument that numbers become the priority to the exclusion of anything else, or that numbers are the sole justification for what works, or that numbers are all about comparing your church to other churches. While those pitfalls do exist, the bottom line for numbers is people.
Numbers are People
Pastors and leaders who defend the use of numbers continually point to the people behind those numbers:
“We count people because people count.” -Rick Warren in The Purpose-Driven Chruch (52)
“Numbers represent souls… and souls MATTER to God. There are numbers of people outside these walls that do not know Jesus… and they matter to Him, therefore, they should matter to us. There are numbers of teenagers outside these walls that need to be reached… and they matter to God–therefore–they matter to us. There are numbers of marriages falling apart in our community… and they matter to God; therefore, they should matter to us.” -Perry Noble, pastor of New Spring Church.
It’s not about counting scalps and showing off. It’s about seeing souls come to Christ.