Numbers

Historically Baptists believe in numbers. I remember from my earliest days the Sunday School board posted proudly on the wall of the sanctuary that declared to one and all how many were in Sunday School this week and last week. Often times these numbers told the story of the success or the struggles of the church.

 Over the years I have noticed that when a church is struggling it rarely reports its numbers. I suspect this is due to the fact that the leadership does not want to deal with the backlash from “falling numbers.”

 This fascination with numbers in some ways can be traced back to the pages of the Bible itself. Let’s face it there is actually a book in the Bible named “Numbers.” The gospel writers were known for reporting the numbers of those Jesus feed and the number of basketfuls left over.

 Over the past few days First Baptist Church El Paso has been on an amazing ride. For an instant just let the numbers tell the story:

 40—“Days of Prayer”

96—“Commitments to Intercede for Four friends”

300—Friends prayed for by name

3000—Invitation cards distributed

52—people trained in evangelism

38—leaders trained to be an encourager during “Encounter”

8-people joined the church on Sunday

1000—pieces of pizza purchased

Over 900—in worship on Sunday in the two services

Over 600—in Sunday School

Over 200—returned for Sunday evening

Over 60—college students attending the Encounter service on Tuesday

Over 300—students attending the Encounter service on Wednesday

Over 12—FCA, churches, Young Life groups attended the Encounter service on Wednesday

Over 60—leaders served as an encourager during the Encounter services

Over 70—professions of faith during Encounter

Over 40—Bibles given out to those who did not own a Bible

Over 125—rededications and commitments to the Lordship of Christ

 

One word: “Overwhelmed”

 

Words cannot express my emotions as I reflect on what God did among us this week.

 

I close with the words of Paul:

 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV)

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