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Church Growth: The Danger in Numbers

by Sonny Childs

Gleaned from https://www.facebook.com/sonnychilds


     There are those who let the numbers determine the message and others who let the message determine the numbers.

     Throughout history, mankind has wrongly assumed that the number of adherents is the evidence of God’s favor. Unfortunately, this Satanic allurement often distracts from the presentation of truth.

     In Genesis 18, Abraham assumed that God was looking for numbers to determine His message to Sodom. But the message never changes. At the end of the day it was the message that determined the numbers not the numbers which determined the saved.

     In 1 Chronicles 21, David placed his faith in numbers and “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. … So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead.” (1 Chronicles 21:1, 14, NIV)

      In Judges 7, Gideon thought that numbers determined his strength, but actually, it was strength (God) that determined his numbers. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’” (Judges 7:2, NIV)In 1 Kings 19, Elijah was hiding in a cave because he thought that numbers determined his security. Instead, God reminded him that it was security (God) Who determined the numbers. (1 Kings 19:18)

     Application: Church leaders would do well to learn from history! The standard we use to determine church growth should NOT be the numbers of bodies present, it should be the loyalty of hearts at work.

1 Timothy 4:1 (NIV) The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith…

2 Thessalonians 2:3 (NKJV) Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first…

     We must stop treating the church as a popularity contest or an attendance competition! The numbers do not determine the message, the message determines the numbers!

     Always remember, His ministry started with thousands, but at the end of the day it was His mother and best friend at the foot of the cross.

     Matthew 7:14 (NKJV) Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Sonny Childs is Director OF M.A.P and lives in Paragould, AR

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4