Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Do you like numbers?

I'm not a numbers obsessed person. I don't like being defined by numbers--because they tell a little of a story, but sometimes miss the heart of it.

However, on occasion, numbers can be indicators of what is going on in a ministry.

For those of you supporting my family at the New Life Church, here are some numbers to consider that I hope will strengthen your resolve that this is a God thing and that your investment in the Kingdom is fruitful.

Our church began with a core group of 69 people from Golf Course Rd. Our first Sunday, we had 100 visitors. 40 of whom were totally unchurched. 60 of whom were "looking for a church home."

In our first 4 months, we have averaged 172 people in attendance on Sunday mornings. The last two Sundays of 2005 we averaged 254 people. God has graced us with 2 baptisms. Since September 11, 66 people have joined the New Life family as co-workers for Christ.

God has also blessed us with 8 small groups--not including student and worship ministry groups. This means that at least 8 families have committed to co-shepherd the flock with the Halstead's and Wall's.

On a percentage basis, 75 people invested in Odessa for only four months has yielded over 100% growth rate. It's yielded a conversion ratio (how many Christians it takes to convert a non-Christian) of about 40-to-1.

So what to make of the numbers? For me personally, two numbers matter most. How many of our people would consider themselves workers (people who ownership in a ministry)--and how many workers are we raising up? Also, how many non-Christians are being led to the Lord? My prayer is that God would bring enough workers to see a person come to Christ every week this year.

Now how about you and your church? Are you a worker? Someone who is relied upon to make ministry happen? Someone who is working to make sure your church succeeds? How are you or the leaders at your church raising up leaders to leverage more ministry inside & outside of the church? How about your conversion ratio? How many Christians did it take this past year to lead one person to Christ?

Are these the only numbers that matter? Of course not!! Please don't hear me say that. These numbers don't mean that what we're doing is more important than what other churches are doing. But these numbers remind me that your life and my life matters to the Kingdom of God. Planting churches is effective and productive! If you have partnered with us financially and in prayer, than claim these numbers as your own. You are full partners with us in the gospel. Your generosity is making it possible for us to live in Odessa. Your prayers are being heard and answered by God! Your friendship and little notes are breathing life into our spirit. Ultimately though, all this blah, blah, blog boils down to this truth--we are one in Christ. Praise God!

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