77 Preachers Can’t be Wrong!
I saw this claim on the bottom of a poster in a shop window. My immediate response was a chuckling, “Yes, they could.” If you look back over the last couple hundred years, you’ll notice we get it wrong sometimes.
This post isn’t really about preachers getting it wrong. Today I am thinking more about the way we try to make numbers work for us.
We like to think and proclaim that success presumes God’s blessing, and we especially like to throw numbers around to support this. For example, who hasn’t heard this kind of claim: “That church has grown from nothing to 10,000 in five years – God must be in it!”
If you are thinking I am on a rant because your church is bigger than my church, give me a couple of paragraphs, please.
I am not negging numbers; I am concerned that a focus merely on numbers never tells the whole story. Oh, sure, numbers are measureable – and in these MBA days we are all about metrics and measurability.
But can you measure a soul, or the growth thereof? Is the distance of a person from God something that can be expressed in units? Tell me, please, precisely, how much closer you are to Jesus today than one year ago today.
There are more Baptists than United Methodists – does that make them better? There are more Muslims than Baptists…? One of the fastest growing religious demographics in the US is “none of the above” – Does this mean that God’s blessing is most on those choosing no religion at all?
Numbers are a part of the picture of success, but only a part.