67…one number I can get excited about!

As I have stated before, numbers and statistics rear their ugly heads within the church planting game. Honestly, it gets pretty ridiculous. I remember a pastor (who will remain unnamed) of another church in Harrisonburg, Virginia (where the first Aletheia is located) when he would see us would always ask “how many you running now?” It got so annoying that we started saying “1 million, we’ve got a million people coming out now…yep we’re the largest church in the world!” And then we would walk away.

One thing I’ve learned in my decade of church planting experience is that numbers are important, but that God still dictates them, just like he dictates everything else. Sure, there are mega churches that are built off of lies, deceit, and immorality…but they usually don’t last…eventually they are exposed. My thought is that if you are doing things at your church plant Biblically, doing things the way that God tells you to do them in the New Testament, then your church will be exactly where it should be according to God’s will. The numbers will come, and if they don’t, you can feel good about the fact that you didn’t compromise truth just to fill the seats.

I have a little black book that contains (not #’s to all my girlfriends on the side ha ha…I knew some of you would think of that joke right there so I got it out of the way for you), but the names of all the people that I share the gospel with. I started doing this when I began planting the church here in Tampa. Anyone that I talk to on campus, I try to remember their name and I write it down so that I can pray for them. I also write down the names of those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. And since January 1st of this year, 67 people have entrusted their lives to Christ through the ministry of Aletheia Tampa. 67!  That number has to excite most of you. And this is the number that I am most proud of. Some of those accepted Christ during one of our worship services and others were strangers who we walked up to on campus, struck up a conversation with, shared the truth with, and ultimately prayed with.

Praise Jesus for that number! Amidst the surge of growth that this church has seen over the past 6 weeks on Sunday mornings, I am most proud about those 67 people who have in this year gone from a target of God’s wrath to a possessor of His divine nature!

The year is not over yet and my hope is that this number will be added to. Let’s do this!

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