A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quote of the Day 2009.9: Go Into All the World and Make Only a Few Disciples Here and There

Although I've never heard this comment from a bishop, a pastor, or a church that was growing, a frequently heard comment in response to our Conference Priorities, from those who have limited their ministry to decline is, "So? It's all about the numbers."

Though I don't see much indication that we have become infatuated with numbers (I was miserable at math in school) in our evaluation and deployment of our pastors, in our evaluation and leadership of our churches (most of our churches are still declining rather than growing) some question our historic Wesleyan focus on numbers of baptisms, attendance, membership, giving, and mission. The church is all about Jesus Christ and his mission. Are we now guilty of moving toward an "It's all about numbers" posture?

We loaded up our car for our annual family vacation. I had been clear with the family about our time of departure for the beach. Patsy had dutifully loaded the car. I had dutifully been clear about the time of departure. Harriet was there. Where was William?

"We have two children. We are not going anywhere without everybody," Patsy commanded, in love.

"One, two, whatever," I responded. "So? It's all about numbers! What difference does it really make whether we have all of our children or half of our children? The important thing is the quality of our family interaction on the vacation. This is about love, not numbers!"

You can read Bishop William Willimon's entire post, "It's All About Numbers," here.

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