Why Numbers Suck
Counting attendance at meetings, visitors, regulars, and irregulars can become a stick to beat yourself with or a cause for celebrating your own brilliance. I swing happily between both extremes. Somewhere in the middle there is a happy medium where the numbers help you develop strategy, plan, dream and pray.
However, numbers don’t tell you the stories. They don’t explain why, by some freak occurrence, one week all your regulars will just stay at home and you are left with six people looking awkwardly at each other. Or why a month later the same thing happens but all your new people turn up in one go and there is suddenly 20 people praising God with everything they have.
Numbers don’t tell you about the night where we had two harden heroin addicts at one end of the room and a group of nice Christian kiddies at the other end.
Numbers don’t explain how adding two key people suddenly gives you access to 20 other people or how hosting a BBQ makes a dozen people for involved.
Numbers don’t explain how stupid you feel when you have spent 8 hours preparing a sermon for 10 people, or how thankful you feel when you decide to wing it (i.e. you run out of time to prep!) with 20 people and God moves.
Numbers don’t explain the feeling that you may be doing something completely irrelevant and worthless because nobody shows and those that do look bored. Or how four weeks later you finally allow yourself to think that you may be on to something.
Numbers don’t explain the feeling when people who met each other via The Chapel become mates and start forming community.
Numbers suck, stories rule.