A great interview here by Trevin Wax. This portion was enlightening.
Trevin: You talk a lot about the scorecard we keep as pastors. You admit how in the past you were more focused on growing the church than sending the church. What changed your scorecard?
Pat: There was definitely a time when I was more concerned about growing a church than in sending the church. That’s agonizing to admit, even today, because it seems so shallow and man-centered. But, even though my goal might’ve been wrong, my motives were pure. Numbers represent souls, and I wanted to take as many people with me to heaven as possible.Read the rest.
I think all pastors have to fight the drift toward focusing on numbers because the American Dream flows out of the American world view that bigger is better. We even publish an annual list of the fastest growing and the largest churches in America. Our influence seems to depend on how large our church is. So, it’s easy for our motives to drift.
Now, I’m not trying to over spiritualize and say numbers aren’t important. We count everything at LifePoint because numbers are a great diagnostic. To be honest, I’d bet that the only churches that aren’t interested in numbers are those that don’t have any. But, numbers shouldn’t be the goal; obedience to God’s mission should be the goal. God measures obedience and faithfulness rather than bigness. Rather than measuring the size of our buildings or the size of our attendance, God measures the size of our passion to run hard after His heart and His purpose for the church.
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