Monday, September 27, 2010

Do Numbers Really Matter in Ministry?

Photo by Flickr user Pshab. Used under
Creative Commons licence .
I am excited to be part of a team who admins several thriving Facebook pages such as The Bible page, and the Jesus Christ page. The team also manages several other pages which you should definitely check out. 


Recently, our team was discussing the importance of the number of "Likes" each page receives. Some team members liked tracking the numbers and setting goals; others weren't too keen on the idea. 


Personally, I like seeing the numbers. Are they the indicator of good things happening and souls being transformed? No.

But they are an indicator that something awesome is happening. Read through the book of Acts and note how many times Luke talks about people being added to the community of faith. In Acts 2:41 he even cites a specific number! 

The growth of the church in Acts was an indicator that God was doing something amazing with this little bunch of fishermen. Did the numbers tell the whole story? Of course not, otherwise Acts would be about 5 sentences long! 

These conversations are good for our team to stay grounded and focused on the higher prize: not lots of likes, but a single like from the One who matters most.

7 comments:

Mark Brown said...

Great post Gabe!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing , a great post... and Jesus added to their numbers daily...

Marcus Graddy said...

A Loaded question but numbers do matter in ministry; however, I'm not sure what the numbers convey?! Is it an indicator of success (whatever that means)? Good marketing? Good niche? Right demographics? etc., or in the case of bad or low numbers, bad marketing, etc.?

Lisa Erga said...

They weren't all fishermen.......

Patti Ann Ridgway said...

Thay is a great post Gabe.....a heart of service is what we are taught by our Father God....feed the poeple and they will come!

Gabe Smith said...

@Marcus - Great point. Sure growth in numbers may be a result of strong marketing strategies (branding, targeted demographics, etc.), that's one reason the numbers don't tell the whole story. I would suggest looking at other data along growth trends to indicate whether a ministry is successful. Depending on the ministry, these questions may be something like these: Are lives being changed? Are marriages being healed? Are the poor being cared for?

I would also consider context. A church in Dallas, Texas is not "more successful" than an a house church in China.

JesusGodHolySpirit said...

THIS IS ACTUALLY REALLY INTERESTING I WILL HAVE TO RE-READ ACTS NOW AS I DIDN'T SEE THAT IT WAS PERTAINING TO THE FUTURE, BUT OF COURSE THE BIBLE IN SOME WAY DOES GO TO THE FUTURE GENERATION AS WELL.... THANKS FOR MAKING ME THINK...

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