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Why Numbers Matter

By Don Loftis | 03.22.17

The biblical record is filled with various numerical notations.  The census that Moses took identified the number of people in each tribe.  When God struck Sennacherib’s army, 185,000 of the Assyrians were killed.  Jesus selected 12 men to be apostles and sent 70 out on a limited commission to the Jews.  On Pentecost 3000 were baptized into Christ.  Numbers underscored the details and reliability of the text.


Some would say today that attendance numbers or conversion statistics are of no value.  If we become more interested in numbers than truth, I would say that was an accurate observation.  Likewise, if we are motivated to brag or boast in these numbers, they can be spiritually damaging.  However, to fail to see the value of numbers is to miss the value of the individual.  Numbers are important because they represent souls.


Each person baptized is a soul rescued from sin.  The number of people teaching or serving in our various ministries represent souls pleasing God.  The number of children in our classes represent souls that will carry the Gospel into the next generation.


One day a rescue raft filled with sailors came ashore at a small coastal town.  They acknowledged that there was one fellow who simply could not be squeezed into the tiny raft.  A young 19 year old boy joined a group of men who readied to go find this missing sailor.  His mother pleaded with him not to go.  She said, “I lost your father at sea, and your brother Joe has not been heard from for three months.”  He insisted in going and, as he returned, he said, “Tell mom I’m back and the missing sailor was my brother Joe.”  All numbers matter to someone.



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