I Couldn’t Care Less About Numbers

I’ve never really dreamt of pastoring a big church.

The reality is that the vast, vast majority of churches are small (under 100).   Yet for some reason most pastors consider that a failure.   They dream of pastoring a 1000 member church and then most have to at some point face the reality that they won’t get there.

I’ve never desired that.


Why do so many books and blog posts have to do with things like ‘breaking the 200 barrier’?

Church size as a measure of success has nothing to do with biblical faith or practice.

The overwhelming majority of churches during the first century were probably house churches.  Likely with connections between them in their larger geographical area.

The Bible doesn’t prescribe church size as a measure of effectiveness or success.

For that reason I don’t really count attendance on a regular basis.   The number doesn’t really matter.

What does matter is the people.  If the people we know aren’t in fellowship with the body, we want to help make sure that they know that they are missed.

Sometimes groups and denominations make plans to plant x number of churches in x amount of years.

No apostle ever did such a thing that we have a record of.

Apostles are people who are sent.  There is no numerical goal attached that I’ve seen.

I don’t think God gives numerical goals.

God gifts us.

God empowers us.

God asks us to obey.

God asks us to be faithful stewards.

And I don’t believe the ‘well done good and faithful servant’ that we so desire to hear will have a single thing to do with how many people attended the congregations we served or how many churches we started.

All that matters is whether we prove faithful.

Some churches are probably small because the people there did NOT prove faithful.  This post isn’t about excuses.

Other churches remain small despite a great deal of faithful, passionate ministry.

Some missionaries give their lives in wholehearted service to see one or two converts in an entire geography.

Others see revival in whole towns or villages.

So, make sure that you know what you are responsible for and what you aren’t.




Author: Dan Masshardt

Husband, Father, Pastor...

2 thoughts on “I Couldn’t Care Less About Numbers”

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