A church I’m familiar with closed its doors, recently, due to low attendance numbers. Lacking sufficient volunteers and income, they were forced to call it quits.
I visited the final service. The message for the morning was presented from the OT book of Numbers, and had nothing to do with arithmetic (but rather, a blessing for the people. Beautifully done.)
The book of Numbers is, perhaps, mis-titled. The original Hebrew title was “In the Wilderness.” Leave it to Christians to rename it “Numbers,” because that’s what we often focus on.
Around InterVarsity where I work, there’s an on-going discussion about the importance of numbers. I wouldn’t say we’ve come to full agreement. Some say we should strategize and strive to grow bigger, increasing our ranks of staff, students and faculty. Why not expand the kingdom?
Others say the main priority is faithfulness in serving those we’re given, and that striving for bigger numbers is not how God measures success.
What do you think?
I’ll share my own opinion in part 2 of Numbers.