by Tim Challies
“So how many people go to your church? This is question nearly every pastor faces at just about every conference he attends. I’ve written about the question before but, having spent the week at Together for the Gospel, and having been part of many conversations, it seems like a good time to revisit it. It usually doesn’t take long for a conversation with a pastor to progress to that point. For the pastor this can be a moment of pride or humility, freedom or shame. And somehow it is a question that always seems to come up. And it comes up for those who are not pastors as well; you begin to talk about your church and the other person inevitably asks that same question. So how many people?
I’d like to make the same two-part proposal I made a few years back: Let’s stop asking, “How many people go to your church?” And when someone asks us that question, let’s not feel obliged to give a direct answer. …”
“…I wonder, what would happen if we found better questions to ask and better ways to answer them. Instead of going to the easy question of, “How many people go to your church?” why don’t we ask things like this:
- How have you seen the Lord working in the lives of the people in your church?
- What evidences of the Lord’s grace has your church experienced in the last few months?
- What are you excited about in your church right now?
- Who are you excited about in your church right now?
- What has the Lord been teaching you?
- Who have you been discipling recently? Tell me about some of the future leaders at your church.
When asked, “How many people go to your church?” why don’t we consider answering something like this:
- As many as the Lord has determined we can care for at this time.
- Enough that we are actively working toward planting a church.
- I don’t know, but let me tell you about a few of them…
-Tim Challies, read the full article here: http://www.challies.com/articles/how-many-people-go-to-your-church