Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dear Church Planter

Church planter, I want to talk to you today about numbers. Every church planter faces the temptation to measure the success of their church by numbers. The number of butts in seats, and the number of dollars given in offering. Those two numbers - butts and bucks, become the dominant numbers above all else. And let's be honest, they are pretty important stats. Without people, you don't have a church. And without finances, you can't continue to have a church. At some level these are important numbers. But while these numbers tell a story, they don't tell the WHOLE story.

Two weeks ago we had some of our highest numbers ever. It was close to our highest attendance, and it was by far our highest offering ever. And on Monday, I was feeling pretty good. We had turned a corner, we were on our way forward, ready to hire staff, ready to take our city for Jesus. And then there was this week. Below average attendance, and our lowest Sunday offering ever. And you know what? Monday I felt like sitting in a dark room and listening to Depeche Mode all day.

But then I was reminded of a different set of numbers:
  • 1 - the mom who attended with her family on Mother's day and though in her 60s said it was the first time in her life she was moved to tears as God spoke to her through worship.
  • 2 - the couple beginning to see God put their marriage back together.
  • 3 - the number of kids who were dedicated on Mother's day as parents and families committed themselves to following Jesus together as a family.
  • 4 - the family of four who have started coming recently and are finding new life.
  • 5 - the family that just moved 2,500 miles to be part of the Story Church team.
So church planter, numbers are important. Attendance and offering are important. But they aren't the most important. A crowd doesn't mean lives are being changed. A great offering doesn't mean that marriages are being healed. Be faithful with what God gives you now, celebrate the numbers that matter most - and in the end, I believe those other numbers will be just fine.


Great Quote Jeremy! Sorry I never warned you about the post Easter let down! My bad. Every planter should read your post!

I'm proud of you,

Matt Keller

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More