I resonated with Steven's reminder that while many churches pit growth and discipleship against one another, a healthy church celebrates numerical growth.
"Our church is all about the numbers. The number of lives that Jesus can permeate and penetrate with the gospel. The number of marriages that can be restored. The number of teenagers following the Lord. The number of depressed people that can find hope in Jesus. The number of dads who don’t give their kids any attention who will learn to order their lives by the Word of God and start prioritizing their families."
On any given church staff, a gap often exists between analytical and creative types. And while no one is arguing that one saved soul does not merit wild celebration, looking at hard data is the ONLY way we can hold ourselves accountable to maximizing our Kingdom impact. It's too easy to let ourselves off the hook otherwise.
Numbers can serve as that objective third party who speaks into your life and helps you better yourself. Think of a coach pushing an athlete with great natural ability to achieve greater results and success. There has to be a third party that’s pushing us toward excellence or else we reach a plateau and eventually begin to slip backwards. Numbers aren't the only thing that matter, but they do help us pay attention to what really does.
When was the last time you used data to objectively review trends in growth, participation, volunteering, and giving in your church? What is the data telling you?