This week, someone mentioned to me that a certain ministry seemed to be doing better: “The numbers are back up to 250-300.” I was taken back a bit, not because I was envious of numbers, but because I knew of the ministry, and I knew the challenges it faced. Its attendance has been known to fluctuate. Sadly though, it seems though the only way to get a gauge of ministry these days is by numbers. “They must be doing something right” is what runs through people’s mind anytime the numbers seem up, but the systemic problems of the ministry hardly get addressed as long as they can get people in the door. That seems to be case here. And, for anyone to unabashedly flaunt numbers makes me sick to my stomach.

I’m reminded of John Stott’s timely words to describe the challenge the modern church faces: “growth without maturity.” His recent book The Living Church addresses the true growth in fellowship and maturity that should be part of the growth. Time to revisit the book, along with a few others. (Here’s my review of Sott’s book, if anyone is interested.)