You can't argue with the numbers
Numbers, numbers, numbers, It's our favourite book of the Bible as conservative evangelicals. We all love numbers: "How many people go to your church? How many people are on your team? How many downloads have you had on your sermons?"
My brother says, when people ask him how many go to his church, he replies, ''evang-elastically speaking'', and bumps up the number. It's not a new thing. Who could forget, having read Whitefield's biography, the little footnote basically saying you can divide these numbers in half. A good friend of mine who worked in missions in Romania said if you added up all the number of responses of the various campaigns of evangelists who visited Romania in the immediate aftermath of Communism. The number of converts in Romania was over twice the population of the country.
Anyway, what made me think of this is being sent the link to the Resurgence conference where you can hear a speaker who has sold 30 million books, one whose got a church of 4,405,000 (don't forget the 5,000 extra over 4 million 400 thousand), somebody who had a top 10 hit on the itunes chart, someone with over 13,000 people in 6 different locations, plus the pastor of one of the fastest growing churches in America (but where are the numbers?).
I'd like to point out we are now at 115 members and I think are still ahead of Carl in the numbers game. Carl will be attending the conference at Resurgence in the hope he can get his church to 'the next level'.
It is great that these brothers are having so much influence for the gospel but you wonder if the Apostle Paul would have made the list at the end of his life: Church planting failure: "You are aware that all who are in Asia have turned away from me" (2 Tim. 1.15).