Monday, June 16, 2008

Struggle With Numbers

Some ask why I struggle with the way we talk about numbers in God’s church. It's not because numbers don’t represent people (they do, and I have a passion for reaching people!). I struggle because Jesus gave us a gift, and the gift is a metaphor. The metaphor is that he is the vine and we are the branches. It may seem idealistic, but I believe that if we abide in the true vine, we will bear much fruit, "fruit that will last". Turning around decline will not be because of focusing on fruit or being more anxious in the call to produce, produce, produce. Growth will always come from focusing on the holy center, our vine, the love of Christ. This is so simple yet it escapes us! We think working harder or smarter will save God's church; it is a new form of “works righteousness” to think so. If we put it in God’s hands, focus on abinding in Jesus, and trust, we will be changed and we will "bear fruit that will last." We will touch lives.