I can’t tell you how often I get asked this question…mostly from people I’ve served with in previous churches or old friends, but many times from fellow church leaders.
Now while I know it’s a well intended question, most of the time, what they are really asking is actually something totally different. What they really want to know is “how many are ya runnin’ on Sundays?” And usually that’s how I respond, spiced with a little current event action mixed in. I tell them what attendance is like, and what we’ve been involved in over the last few months, and how many people have shown up to our new campuses.
But when somebody asked me that same question today, something different happened. Conviction fell all over me. It was like God was tapping me on the shoulder, and saying “quit bragging about how well your marketing strategy is working to get people in the door. Quit bragging about how big the events have went that you’ve been able to put on. Why don’t you take this opportunity to brag on me instead.” And then it hit me…
Our mission is simple…it’s for people to experience LIFE CHANGE through Jesus. Our goal is to create environments where ANYONE and EVERYONE can get a second chance at experiencing that life change, no matter their baggage or past.
So when people ask how things are going…why don’t I just tell them. Why don’t I just brag on the work that God is graciously allowing me to be a part of. So I did…and you know what…they were blown away. They couldn’t quit talking about how amazing it must be to get to play a part in a movement that changes lives like that. And they were right.
So since I shared it with them, and they got excited, I thought I’d share it with you, and maybe you will too….
QUESTION: How’s things going at High Rock?
ANSWER: AMAZING…HUMBLING…LIFE-CHANGING. This year alone, ALONE, we’ve seen 525 adults make the decision to surrender all and become a Christ follower. In that same time we’ve seen 220 teenagers make that same decision, and flood their schools with the presence of the Gospel. Did you catch that?
We’ve seen 745 people move from skeptic to saint, or from fan to follower. SEVEN HUNDRED AND FORTY FIVE. That’s how we’re doing! And the best part is, we can’t and won’t take an ounce of the credit. Every time we’ve heard God speak, we’ve simply stepped, and as a result HE has changed the HEARTS, LIVES, CURRENT REALITIES, AND ETERNAL DESTINATIONS of 745 people all across our region. This doesn’t even include the nearly 600 kids who are hearing that God loves them and has a plan for their life each and every week, many of whom have made the decision to follow him as well.
“Oh Robbie, you’re just bragging on the numbers of a big church!” NOPE. I’m bragging on the numbers of an even bigger God, who says “follow me, step when I say, be faithful to my prompting, and watch what the flip I do!” (OK, maybe he doesn’t say flip…but I digress.)
And yes I’m bragging on those numbers. You know why? Because numbers matter to God. Because numbers represent people…
The number of lives that Jesus can transform through the Gospel,
The number of marriages that can be restored as a result of the Gospel,
The number of teenagers excited about the truth of the Gospel,
The number of depressed people that can find hope in the Gospel,
The number of dads who don’t give their kids any attention who will learn to order their lives by the Word of God and start prioritizing their families because he has heard and experienced the Gospel…
What else matters? What else should we talk about when people ask?
I mean, this might come as a shock to a lot of people, but celebrating and bragging on the NUMBER of changed lives isn’t a new phenomenon. 2000 years ago, Luke by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote:
Apparently God is all about the number of changed lives. So I want to be, too. And so should you.