Offer Them Christ
The Weblog Of J.F. Howard

People Count

            I am a believer in the statement, “Count people because people count.”

            I count people in the church because numbers represent living, breathing, human beings—individual souls who will live forever, either with God or apart from God.

            People count. That’s why I think it is important to count people. In the church I want to know on a regular basis how many people are

Attending worship,

Participating in a small group for spiritual formation and discipleship,

Involved in a ministry using their spiritual gifts,

Serving in a mission outside of the walls of the church,

Giving regularly and generously, and

Sharing their faith and inviting others to be part of the church.

            I also want to know how many people are visiting the church, and how many people are joining the church on profession of faith. Those are two important indicators of a church’s vitality.

            My thinking on this idea of counting people because people count was formed through my study of Scripture, especially reading through the Book Of Acts. If there is any place in the Bible where people count and are counted it is in Acts. Here are a few examples:

1. 120 disciples gathered for prayer

Acts 1:14-15

14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.
  15 During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and addressed them.

2. On the Day of Pentecost 3,000 people baptized and added to the church

Acts 2:41

41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.

3. God added to the church each day people who were being saved

Acts 2:46-47

46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.           

4. The church numbered 5,000 men, not even counting the women and children

Acts 4:4

4 But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of believers now totaled about 5,000 men, not counting women and children.

5. More and more believed and were brought to faith in Jesus Christ

Acts 5:12,14

12 The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade…14 Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women.

6. The number of believers rapidly multiplied

Acts 6:1

1 …the believers rapidly multiplied

7. As the Gospel message spread the numbers of believers greatly increased and many were converted to faith in Jesus Christ.

Acts 6:7

7 So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.

8. A strong church is a growing church

Acts 9:31

 31 The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.

9. When the power of the Lord was upon them, large numbers of people believed and turned to Jesus Christ

Acts 11:20-21

20 However, some of the believers who went to Antioch from Cyprus and Cyrene began preaching to the Gentiles about the Lord Jesus.21 The power of the Lord was with them, and a large number of these Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord.

10. Strong healthy churches grew larger every day

Acts 16:5

5 So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.

11. Many thousands believed

Acts 21:18-20

18 The next day Paul went with us to meet with James, and all the elders of the Jerusalem church were present.19 After greeting them, Paul gave a detailed account of the things God had accomplished among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20 After hearing this, they praised God. And then they said, “You know, dear brother, how many thousands of Jews have also believed, and they all follow the law of Moses very seriously.

            The church is in the disciple making business. That’s the business of connecting real people to a real God through faith in a real Savior in Jesus Christ.

            People count. That’s why it is important to count people.


One Response to “People Count”

  1. Love these scriptures…these were the foundations for the ACTS (All Come Together to Serve) Children’s Worship. The Early Church for those who are just learning “Church.” Yep, love these scriptures. Wonder what The Church would look like today if we all exemplified the early Church…connect & invite..oh, & be counted. ;)

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