from my notebook

My head is full of thoughts, and I have to write them down.

I Don’t Trust Numbers


Image by Koen Vereeken via Flickr

I believe in absolute truth, and I believe one plus one equals two, but I don’t trust numbers when they come from the church.  I’m not accusing churches of lying.  I just think we read too much into our numbers more often than not.

While churches exuberantly announce how many they’ve baptized or how many salvation decisions have made through them, I usually respond with skepticism, and that bothers me a little.  I don’t like feeling that way.  I don’t like being negative.

Churches with large attendances are not necessarily great churches in God’s eye (neither are small ones, by the way).  Paul warned of people flocking to speakers who tell them what they want to hear.

I’ve been active in church all my life, and trust me, that’s been a while.  More times than I care to remember I’ve seen people over the years come to Jesus one week and then back to their old ways a few weeks or months later.  Salvation is more than praying a prayer.  Repentance is more than feeling bad about the kind of person you are.

Receiving the gift of Jesus is simple, but understanding and explaining the salvation process isn’t easy.  My pastor explains it well, but don’t ask me to.  But I firmly believe Matthew 7:14 – “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

Certainly we shouldn’t ignore or disregard a person’s decision to follow Christ.  It is a happy occasion, but maybe we should spend more time praying for them to endure to the end than celebrating a victory.




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