100!!! And the Point of Numbers

This is it!  Post number 100 on my LeadFollower blog.  I am bubbling with excitement…I am overjoyed…I am…lying.  Sure, hitting 100 is kinda cool, but it isn’t really about the numbers.  It is about the people who benefit from my ramblings, my thoughts, and the occasional blog post from someone else that I direct you to.  Because let’s face it…without readers…anything anyone writes is pointless.

Numbers are an interesting thing.  We watch them…we monitor them…and we critique them.  We do it in every area of business.  We do it in finances, we do it in advertising, we do it in politics, and we do it in churches.  As a pastor there is always a slight tension.  You want to see lives changed…but that is hard to count at times.  What is easy to count is attendance.  I can tell you how many people attended the past two Preview Experiences at The Grove.  And, once December hits, I will be able to tell you how many people were at each experience in November.  Is it simply because I am driven to have a huge church?  Not at all.  We count people…because people count.

Each and every person who comes through our doors is loved by God and important to God.  For that reason alone…they are important to us.  So, we count people.  It doesn’t tell us much about our spiritual depth.  It does not tell us much about how good of a preacher I am…even though I know that I am awesome!  (Please note the sarcasm dripping from those words).  It simply tells us how many people are giving us a shot to be a part of connecting them with God.  I think that is an important thing to measure.  If there are 100 people in an experience…that means there are 100 dearly loved, important, and God-gifted people in our midst who are at least open to experiencing God.  In one respect, it is nice to know how many people are being impacted by The Grove.  In another respect, it is awesome to know how God is entrusting The Grove with His dearly-loved.

While we count the individuals, I also do another type of count.  I call this my “guest scan”.  While the congregation is worshipping to the fine leading of Brock Moreau, I step back and look at the people there and ask myself one questions: “How many of these people do I NOT recognize?”  At the first Worship Experience I recognized everyone.  At the second, I was blown away at how many of them I did not recognize.  This tells me one thing.  People are inviting people!  They are not all coming because of me.  They are coming because a friend, family member, co-worker, neighbor, or some guy on the street took the time to invite them to church.  This tells me more than any official count could ever tell me.  This tells me that people’s lives are being changed.  This tells me that they enjoy their experience at The Grove so much that they want to share that with others.  When a church has that kind of momentum behind it…God will do amazing things!

I am so excited to see how many people I will not recognize this week.  I would love to see 50% of the congregation to be people I don’t know.  Are you coming to The Grove?  If so, who are you inviting?  Who in your life are you willing to share The Grove with?

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