The numbers game
Last issue's "From the Editor" column discussed why some pastors feel bad about the size of their churches. That prompted a thoughtful letter from a charter subscriber:
"Personally, I do not believe that I am my statistics. . . . Within the confines of my home and church, I am accepted for being myself rather than for producing a certain number of 'bodies, bucks, and buildings.'
"But that doesn't hold true when I venture outside my church. There is a very real 'pecking order' in Christian circles, and it is not based on your character, ability, or faithfulness. The pecking order is based on the size of your church.
"The larger your church, the better chance you have to relocate to another ministry . . . the better chance you'll be sought for consultation . . . the better chance you'll be asked to speak at conferences and seminars or serve on the boards and committees of Christian organizations.
"I choose not to judge myself on the basis of statistics, but ...1