Does God really care about the number of people in your church? Or is He more concerned about spiritual growth? The answer is “yes” to both. God is concerned about both the quality of the spiritual condition of your church and the quantity of people attending.
First of all, numerical growth was important enough to God to make note of it in scripture. In just the first 9 chapters of the book of Acts, he repeatedly mentions the increasing number of people being added to the church:
- About 3,000 were added to their number (2:41)
- The Lord added to their number daily (2:47)
- Many who heard the message believed and the number of men grew to about 5,000 (4:4)
- More and more men and women believed and were added to their number (5:14)
- The number of disciples was increasing (6:1)
- The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith, (6:7)
- The church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria…grew in numbers (9:31)
Each one of these numbers represents a person that was in need of a Savior. So God does care about the numbers? Not for the sake of our reputation, but because of His love for each individual. However, it’s also important to note that the increase in numbers was a direct result of the Spiritual condition of the church. According to Acts 1:14, God’s plan was to empower His people so they would be equipped to reach the lost:
- They were filled with the Spirit: Acts 2:4
- They were in unity and met together regularly: Acts 1:14, 2:44, 2:46
- They were empowered to do the miraculous: Acts 2:43
- They were filled with compassion and met the needs of others Acts 2:44-45
- They had an attitude of praise Acts 2:46
- As a result, people were saved, and the Lord added to their number daily: Acts 2:47
This same power and love of God is available to us today and we too must care about the numbers of people we come across everyday: our family, our neighbors, our co-workers, and acquaintances. We must care enough to pray for them and step out in faith to share the good news that Jesus came to do for them what He did for us.
(If you need specific ways on how to be a witness read our previous blog 4 Ways to Share Your Faith.)
KEY INSIGHT: It was the Lord Himself that added to their number. He alone is the one who saves. We are not called to save people, we are called to be His witnesses and make disciples of those who choose to follow. This will be discussed more in depth in our next blog concerning the false pressure that is often placed on the church to ‘get people saved’.