Today you should read: 1 Chronicles 21
If you’re involved in ministry you will care about numbers. Tracking numbers like salvations, baptisms, attendance, stories of life change, etc. can help a church make decisions in preparation for future or stop the hemorrhaging in certain ministry areas. It’s wise to keep count as a church and even celebrate certain numbers. However as we read in today’s jumpstart, it can also be something that Satan uses as well. Verse 1 says that Satan incited King David to count the number of God’s people. As mention above, tracking numbers can be wise so how could this be something that satan uses to attack the Israelites and King David? Well, the same reason that it attacks so many pastors and churches today. PRIDE. The ESV Study Bible notes say “David himself sinned in giving in to Satan’s enticement and ordering the census. This census was sinful probably because it arose from David’s presumptuous military ambitions (see 1 Chron. 21:5) and pride, rather than from Yahweh’s express command.”
Many pastors, churches and ministries will either get prideful when seeing large numbers and forget who is causing the growth or to the opposite spectrum, dependent on numbers for the church’s identity. Pastors and churches alike should always work their hardest to bring more into the kingdom but He does call different churches and ministries to different numbers where He does not want those people to feel like failures as long as they are faithful in what God has given them. When God does bless a pastor or church in large numbers, we must be careful of satan’s temptations to deceive us into thinking it’s because of the pastor or church instead of the work of the Lord. We need to constantly remember the truth of 1 Corinthians 3:6-11 which says:
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Lastly, I want to say that I’m very honored to serve with a church that is constantly reminding each other who is doing the work amidst our growth. Center Point Church’s foundation is Jesus Christ and He has called us to be His building, not the small building space or schools that we meet in and He is amazingly growing us. Let’s not stop sharing and not stop giving the glory to God but never to us.
Posted by: Erik Koliser