Who, Versus How Many…

Seth Godin recently posted the above blog title.  While his content went a different direction, the title sparked some thoughts…

Think about your church.

I’m thinking about “mine”.

The pendulum is swinging back.  A significant correction is about to take place.  History repeats itself – if God allows us to live long enough to watch the cycle repeat.

Some may say that within mega church circles, Willow Creek’s Reveal Study was the impetus to change…maybe.  But I subscribe to the notion that this reconstruction of our contemporary ministry model actually began with the rise of the first mega church.

The title of the sermon this week at Grace Family Church was “Out of Tune”.  It was all praise and worship, interspersed with the “why” behind worship.  I stood in the back, my usual observation perch, and watched about 20% of the people leave before the service was over.  I also watched even more connect to their Creator in a powerful way.  I was torn – thankful for the majority who “got it”, and troubled for those who didn’t.  I spent some time this morning in the Bible trying to make sense of it.  The Holy Spirit led me to the following, author unknown.


After Jesus fed 5,000 men including women and children (approx.12,000) they tried to make Him king (John6:15). He departed again into a mountain himself alone. Later that day when Jesus crossed over to Capernaum, the crowds also passed over to Caperanaum, seeking Jesus..desiring to be fed again.They wanted to be “fed and fixed.”  They desired to see another great miracle.

Then Jesus knowing that his sermon would “offend” them preached a sermon on eating bread and drinking blood (v.53-58). No other message would have “offended” a Jew like this one. The thought of them drinking blood was repulsive and went against everything they believed. Jesus did not preach a “felt” needs “seeker sensitive” sermon.

Their response to His sermon was……SEE YA Jesus!  He intentionally, on purpose, ran off 12 thousand people. Jesus asked his Disciples, will you also leave? They answered, ”Lord, we are not going anywhere. You have the words of life that can take death out of us and impart life to us (John 6:67-69).

Why did Jesus run off 12 thousand seekers and felt needers?

This is the reason they were following Him, because they saw His miracles. In v.26, Jesus said, ”You seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because YOU DID EAT OF THE LOAVES AND WERE FILLED. Twelve thousand were following Him because they wanted to be FIXED—not because they wanted to be SAVED.

Our Lord would ran off 12 thousand because He refused to build His church around people who wanted to be fixed. He would build His church around people that wanted to be saved.

That is a huge distinction that we better grasp. We have become so desperate for numbers that we are going after people that are trying to be fixed. We are not trying to find people that really want to be saved.

If our Lord chose not to build a ministry around fixing people – how dare we do differently?

What a sermon he preached. Jesus was not a “felt”needs preacher. He was a “real”needs preacher, and so must we be also. Jesus came to save us, not to fix us.

So as this pendulum begins it’s heavy and powerful swing back, a significant course adjustment is necessary.  The mega churches are adjusting (Willow, Granger, Mosiac).

It’s time that we, as indiviual Christ followers begin to adjust as well.  Are you burdened for the lost because they need a Savior?  Or is it because YOU feel they need to be fixed?

It should have never been about “how many”, but “who”….


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