MEASUREMENT & Is Counting Biblical? A Quick Overview #HouseDividedBook

by Bob Whitesel and Kent R. Hunter, excerpted from A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps in Your Church, (Abingdon Press, 2000, p. 206).

HDsmallFew principles have garnered as much controversy as the principle of measuring numerical growth.  However, missiologist and dean of the Church Growth Movement Donald McGavran states that “the Church is made up of countable people and there is nothing particularly spiritual in not counting them.  Men use the numerical approach in all worthwhile human endeavor.” [1]

But some have argued that there is something spiritual about “not counting.”  They would point to God’s displeasure with King David for ordering a census of the people in 1 Chronicles 21:1 – 30.  However, 1 Chronicles 21:1 reveals that it was Satan who inspired David to conduct this counting of his troops.  Even against the counsel of his commander Joab, who discerned David’s inappropriate motivation, David conducts the census.  David’s motivation for the census was to revel in the strength of his army.  But God wanted David to put his trust in God’s protection, rather than the size of his forces.  Hence, wrong motivation and wrong instigation led to an inappropriate counting.

Elsewhere in the Bible, numberings are conducted for meaningful reasons with helpful results.  In Numbers 1:2 and 26:2 God commands numberings of all Israel along with every segment of each tribe before and after the desert wanderings.  In the Gospel accounts we witness accurate countings of Jesus’ team of disciples, and in Luke 10:1 – 24 we see a company of 72 disciples sent out two by two.  In the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15:3 – 7, only by counting the sheep does the shepherd become aware that one is missing from the fold.  If counting those we are entrusted were odious to Jesus, certainly he would eliminate such imagery from his teaching.  And in Acts 1:15; 2:41; 4:4; Luke records the growth of the church by a careful record of its numerical increase.  McGavran concludes “on biblical grounds one has to affirm that devout use of the numerical approach is in accord with God’s wishes.  On the practical grounds, it is as necessary in congregations and denominations as honest financial dealing.” [2]

—-

[1] Donald A. McGavran, Understanding Church Growth, op. cit., p. 93.

[2] Ibid., p. 94.

BIBLE & Do Bible Haters Now Equal Bible Lovers? American Bible Society Thinks So

Do Bible Haters Now Equal Bible Lovers? American Bible Society Thinks So

“The number of Americans who read Scripture at least four times a week and believe that it is the inspired word of God has fallen to just under 1 in 5, according to new reseState of the Bible 2014arch from the American Bible Society (ABS).

The same percentage of Americans (19 percent) are now ‘antagonistic’ toward the Bible, reading it less than once per month and believing it is a book of teachings written by men that contain stories and advice.

Thus, the ‘percentage of Scripture haters now equals Scripture lovers,’ notes the [original] press release for the 2014 edition of ABS’s annual State of the Bible report, conducted by Barna Group. The main reason: millennials.”

Image: American Bible Society – Barna Group

Read more at … http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2014/april/do-bible-haters-equal-lovers-american-bible-society-barna.html

BIBLE & Research On Who Is Reading It (and Why)

American Bible Reading Statistics Reveal Who Is Studying The Good Book And Whyoriginal.jpg

Read more here… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/14/american-bible-reading_n_4949993.html?ir=Religion