About (More Than) Numbers


“More people equals more success…right?”

Andy said that, tongue firmly planted in cheek, in the quiet beauty that is Breckenridge, Colorado. As we waited for folks to arrive at Breckenridge Christian Ministries, he described BCM’s unique structure.

Andy’s sort-of a leader. I say that because BCM operates with no paid staff. No pastor, no youth leader, no choir director, custodian, or secretary. They have teaching, music, Sunday school, and the place is clean and organized, but rather than outsourcing to professional paid staff, it’s all done by and for members of the BCM community. If something happens here it’s because someone steps forward and raises their hand.

I was honored to share a bit of our story last Sunday in this remarkable setting. Couldn’t avoid the comparison with my home church (Timberline) and its big building, amazing professional staff, and wide-ranging programs. Easy to believe bigger-is-better…all these ministries, world-class preaching, abundant resources…or bigger-is-worse…impersonal, nobody knows anyone, bureaucracy and red tape, too much glitz…

I thought about Andy’s comment. Of course more people doesn’t mean more success – sometimes more people just means a mob. But more people doesn’t mean less success, either. Just like fewer people might mean intimate, welcoming…or exclusive.

It’s about more than numbers.

Becky and I have attended small churches where we felt like outsiders, but at Timberline we’ve found a community that loves and cares for us. I’ve been to tiny and large gatherings where a wheelchair was clearly a “bother.”

God doesn’t care about the size of the circle. He cares a lot about the people in the circle – their character, their hearts, how they love each other.

Someone asked last Sunday about the ideal size of a FREEDOM TOUR team. My answer? “The same as for this church.”

“I’d like everyone there whom God wants to be there.”

Please leave a comment.