Among believers who are passionate about disciple making, there is always so much joy over just one individual surrendering their life to Jesus. There is a sad aspect though on how we look at sharing the gospel these days. We as human beings love numbers, the bigger the better. What mission or event will escape the number questions?f
How many have made the confession this year? How many churches have you planted? How many have been baptized this year? And so on.
These questions are not wrong in themselves, but they just overlook the hard work, time investment, tears in time of difficulty and the joys of the lessons learned in heart preparation while one sows the good news.
Here is a way we have come to avoid the number questions, while at the same time actually amplifying our effectiveness if those we disciple were ONLY faithful.
If just one person focused on sharing the gospel and discipling one person per year, with the disciple sure to do the same and continue the process.
What would you prefer: To gain a new believer every day for the next 33 years or to help grow one Christ obedient disciple per year for the next 33 years?
By winning a new believer for Christ per day for the next 33 years, you will have 12,045 new attendees in your church. While, by making ONLY one Christ obedient disciple every year, each of his disciples and his disciples will have obedient disciples who will make more disciples. In 33 years you will have helped form 8,589,934,591 Christ obedient disciples! That is more than the total population of the world!
Now, we all can say this is a very optimistic and unhuman or very unrealistic number. For sure, but what about if only 1% thus to say 8,589,934.59 were faithful? Still, you will have helped disciple more faithful servants for Christ than gaining followers each day for the next 33 years.
We believe this is the way Christ must have looked at discipleships. Although he reached out to many, he only had 12 men whom he overwhelmingly invested his time in, and who got to see every day and every moment of His life. Peter one of them later says in Acts 10:39, “And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem.”
As God’s worker, have you let numbers distract you recently? Many times I know from personal experience that pressure is real. You get to say the most optimist number of those you are reaching, but deep down within you are not even sure about their total commitment to Jesus.
Next time an individual who is number oriented interrogates you on the subject, let Luke 15:10 be your refuge and answer.
Has someone or an organization distracted your focus recently an wanting to know the numbers? Share your story.