It’s all in the numbers

Every weekend, we post numbers on Facebook and other social media accounts – numbers of people who went all in for Jesus, numbers of baptisms, how many people attended weekend service, how many people helped feed the homeless, go on missions trips, and make dresses on Second Saturday – We talk about numbers all the time. We believe we’re going to reach 25,000 people for Jesus by 2025. Community Church loves numbers! But, we get some push back on that. Some people want to know why we’re so focused on numbers. They use the term “megachurch” like it’s a cuss word, and somehow think the churches that talk about numbers are “watering down” “the gospel”.

Who decided numbers were bad? It wasn’t God. Jesus’ message of love and hope is contagious, and that’s why growth is awesome – numbers are awesome! It’s evidence that God cares a lot about numbers. The Church began with just a few dozen people and immediately grew to 120 (Acts 1:15). Within a few days the Church blew past the 2,000-person “megachurch” mark (Acts 2:41). Jesus unapologetically grew the size of His church beyond hundreds, beyond thousands, and He wants millions and even billions of people to be part of the Church. He’s charged us with spreading His message of love and hope to the ends of the earth.

If we’re not concerned about reaching more people far from Jesus, we can keep our churches small and comfortable. We can continue to do things the way we’ve always done them, only talk to the people who keep coming, and never worry about people outside the walls of our buildings because they might make us uncomfortable. The thing is, when the message about Jesus spreads and more people decide to follow Him, it’s something worth celebrating, not debating.

Every number has a name, and every name matters to God. Behind each and every number there is one – one story, one broken-heart mended, one life turned upside down and inside out – where they can see the love of Jesus; it’s real and it’s a tangible life change. In the book of Luke, Jesus tells the story of a shepherd with 100 sheep. One of the sheep gets lost. The shepherd goes to find the one. Why? Because every name matters to God.

Jesus never put a limit on how many people He wanted to reach. He came to reach people far from God, and there are far too many people in the world who have yet to experience the life changing love of God. (Luke 19:10) Through relationships and love, Jesus changed the world, and we can too when we’re filled with His love and spread it to everyone we come in contact with. I try to remember that each time I walk through a store. Each time I stand in line at the checkout counter. Each time I interact with waitstaff. Each time I pull out into traffic. Each weekend when we get together at church. Every number has a name. Every name matters to God.

It’s easy to maintain a monument, but God has called us to fuel the movement He started. We’re going to reach 25,000 people by 2025! We invite you to join the movement.