I’ve heard some say, “It’s not all about numbers.” But I think numbers are very important to Jesus! He’s waiting patiently for NUMBERS! Sadly, this has become a phrase to justify not opening the doors wide. Why are some churches afraid to bring in the sick and hurting, that they might “taint” the rest of the body? Isn’t it for those that the church even exists? At one point in the early church, more than 3,000 “unchurched” members were added in one day! Talk about an organizational management crisis! Thousands of people, who had just stepped out of their train-wrecked lives and into a NEW LIFE promised to them, but no doubt they came toting all the baggage of all they’d acquired up to that point. Baggage like sickness, sinful thoughts, addictions, bad habits, fears, anxieties, trust issues, and anger issues of their unrenewed minds. They didn’t miraculously become mature, holy believers overnight!
While Jesus walked the earth, He preached regularly to the “churched” in the synagogues, but He also spent much time going out into the community to meet the “unchurched” right where they were living, working and dining and reached OUT to them. To show them a better way to do life! If we don’t do the same, we are missing half of the ministry Jesus modeled for us! And because they first knew Him in THEIR house, they came out looking for Him in His.
People are going to have issues, but isn’t that the reason the Holy Spirit is working His fruits of LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, GENTLENESS, FAITHFULNESS and SELF-CONTROL within US? When else will we have the need to exercise it? We’ve got to allow people to come in and get engrafted into the vine. When the life of the Spirit is allowed to flow into them, those “dead leaves” of their lives will begin to fall off. They will be babes who will fall repeatedly, make messes, have tantrums and need to be spoonfed. That’s when those who are mature lead by example. Babies can be a lot of work, but they are SO worth it! So, yeah, it’s not ALL about numbers, but I think numbers are VERY important to Jesus!