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AN ATHEIST WROTE AN ARTICLE ABOUT ME entitled, “Steve Sanchez Thinks He Has the Right to Harass People About Jesus.”

His name is Bruce Gerencser and his blog bio says this: “For twenty-five years Bruce pastored Evangelical churches in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. In 2003 Bruce left the ministry and is now a secular humanist.”

adam1

I loooove when atheists criticize me then post my entire blog article on their websites, because, well, I usually write about our great Savior. This used to happen frequently when I lived in California, not so much now. He took issue with my witnessing to a witch in Walmart several months ago. Here’s an excerpt:

“Steve Sanchez is a fundamentalist Christian who thinks he has the right to witness, evangelize, proselytize, and preach to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

“You see, the Steve Sanchez’s of the world think that they are demonstrating love when they badger and harass people who have no interest in what they are selling. They are a special class of people who are not bound by the same social conventions as the rest of us. Treating others with decency and respect doesn’t apply to Steve Sanchez. He is willing to be an a——- for Jesus because his right to evangelize and preach supersedes any person’s right to personal space, even at work.”

For the most part, I agree with Bruce, except, I try to be exceedingly gracious and friendly when sharing my faith, and I shared with the Walmart witch during the time I was making a transaction with her.

adam2Bruce also gave his readers a  a call to action:

If Walmart does not have a policy in place to deal with people like Steve Sanchez then they need to implement one immediately. If they fail to do so, they run the risk of being sued by harassed workers like Courtney. Walmart has a legal obligation to provide their workers with a workplace free from egregious religious harassment.

If you would like to send Walmart and email about this, please go here. If you send Walmart an email, please mention this blog post. Also, you will need to choose a Walmart store. Search for stores in Dripping Springs, Texas and choose the first store. (it is in Austin)

Regardless of what Bruce wrote and his misinterpretation of events, the bottom line is this: Through his anti-evangelism/anti-Christian article, Christ is preached! (He posted a very evangelical cartoon by Adam Ford that accompanied my article.)

So, thank you atheists, once again!

Read Bruce’s blog account by clicking here.

Click here to see the worst witnessing encounter
I ever had with a guy named Ted the Atheist.
It was filmed and has been viewed
over a half million times.

Cartoon by Adam4D.com

Thankfully, this did not happen at the Seniors Center I have been attending. At the 47:45 mark, Mr. Shackelford tells the story of what happened at a Seniors Center that forbade prayer, worship and Bible study. It’s only five minutes long and a great encouragement that the law still protects religious freedom.

The All-In-One Pastor

July 11th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in Texas Tales! - (0 Comments)

I was doing some paperwork while talking to a CPA.  He asked if I had a scanner so I could send him some documents. “Of course,” I replied, “I just don’t have it set up yet.”

“Shame on you,” he joked.

easy

I reminded him that I used to have a secretary, a book-keeper, a web guy, and people to clean up afterward when I was at my big church. Now, I’m it.

An All-In-One Pastor.

Not complaining. Just the new reality. I’m starting to realize that my “To-Do” list will never end and I’ll probably always be behind.

Oh, yeah…and I get to study, preach and meet with people, too!

Including construction guys.

Someday, I may even find the time to read.

I’ve been going to the Hill Country Senior Activities Center since arriving last year in Texas with the intention of getting to know the community by making acquaintances with the elders of Dripping Springs, as I serve them and pray for them. (Click here for part 1 of this story.)

buckFour new visitors came to Hope Chapel Hill Country last Sunday as a result of my efforts. One of them was at the Center today and I offered to pray for her, but she stopped me. “We better go outside,” she warned.

“Why?” I asked.

“I’ve been reading your blog.”

“How did you know about my blog?”

“It was on the back of the bulletin you gave us last Sunday; seems like you cause trouble everywhere you go,” she said with a smile. “Jesus caused trouble, too.”

Before I prayed for her, another woman stopped me to tell me how God healed her of a cancerous tumor after I prayed for her several weeks ago. “They were going to cut me open, but when the doctor checked me, he said everything was gone. I want to give God all the glory after you prayed for me.”

And how has it been going with the manager who seems to have been against me from the get-go? Well, a few weeks back she called me up front, handed me the microphone and asked me to pray before the meal.

I think I will continue to visit the Seniors Center.

(Image: Buck Hayden, part of the original family that settled and built up Dripping Springs in the late 1800s.)

With my church plant work here in the Austin area, Dripping Springs to be exact, I have not been posting at this blog regularly. Rest assured, I do try to share my faith everyday, mostly it’s with my church invitation/Gospel tract flyer. And since I live in a small town now, I have not preached in the open air…until the X Games were hosted in Austin.

I had not shared my faith in this way since standing “on the box” with Ray Comfort in Newport Beach way back in September, 2013. So how did it go?

Like falling off a horse. Or a preaching stool.

Those Dam Guys!

June 4th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in E-vangie Tales - (0 Comments)

I took my first bike ride of the spring and noticed a bunch of construction workers busily repairing our little levee. I offered them each a raise in the form of a one trillion dollar bill gospel tract, then preached a 90 second Gospel message to this rough-hewn bunch.

The result?

DamThe foreman said: “We don’t want to be preached to while we’re working, especially here on the street.” His fellow laborers nodded, winked at each other and smiled mockingly.

“I’m working too; I’m a pastor.”

“It figures,” replied the foreman with disgust.

I then concluded my sermonette to the construction crew’s now-turned away backs: “I’m saying this to you because I love you. Consider what I’ve said. You’ve been warned. I’m Pastor Steve Sanchez and you’re all invited to Hope Chapel Hill Country in Dripping Springs.”

And with that, I pedaled away.

Think any will visit?

Courtney, the Walmart customer service lady, (looking down), kept answering “Summerland” when I asked if she’d go to Heaven or Hell when she died.

wiccan“Heaven or Hell?”

“Summerland.”

The only two choices I’m giving you are Heaven or Hell.”

“Summerland. I’m a Wiccan,” she declared.

Since she wouldn’t answer I had to go to Plan B: I  preached a one minute Gospel to her so she’d understand there is no Summerland, only Hell, because of her idolatry.

What did she do? Thanked me over and over again to get me to go away. “Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.”

Yet I didn’t go away until she heard fully the full Gospel, thank you very much.

A co-worker walked behind her and gave me a Thumb’s Up.

Another co-worker, a Muslim, in full head covering, began her shift. I resisted giving her the Good News because too many people were lining up at the counter.

I know my limits.

The next day I received this comment on Facebook from an atheist: “I don’t understand why you bible thumpers just cant leave us the f*@k alone, funny how we, who choose alternative ideas, don’t push our thoughts/ideas on to you bible thumpers but you think its ok to bombard us with your thoughts and ideas.”

Here was my response: “I would have to be the most hateful person in the world to NOT share the Gospel with Courtney, or you for that matter. If I didn’t share, I would be overlooking the fact of your horrible future reality. So no. As a Bible Thumper, I love you too much not to speak.”

urselfn 1urself 2urself 3Comic by Adam Ford

I had the great privilege of being on Ray Comfort’s YouTube show, “The Comfort Zone” today and want to hear what you think.

ComfortAThis is my first trip back to California since moving to Texas in September. I got to talk a little about planting Hope Chapel Hill Country, the church I now pastor in Dripping Springs.

comfort bI know this much: My hair looks a lot grayer than I expected! I’m on for about ten minutes starting at the 15:00 minute mark.

IT WAS FATHER’S DAY at Hope Chapel Hill Country this morning as two visitors, a father and daughter, made professions of faith at the end of my message. Without looking at each other, after I made the invitation to turn to Jesus in repentance and trust, they raised their hands. I told them: “Remember this day as Father’s Day on Mother’s Day, the day you came to your Heavenly Father.”

handyThe young lady is a high school friend of my daughter DD. who brought her Dad. And, yes, I plan on meeting with him regularly and encouraged my daughter to do the same.

It’s called discipleship.

The biggest frustration and the greatest consolation is that Jesus is in control.

What do I mean by that?

I can do nothing else to make people come to Hope Chapel Hill Country. I pray for this church; I prepare the messages diligently; and I go out into the street and invite them in, but it’s only Christ who brings them in.

The hardest thing to do in planting a church is to wait when the future is uncertain.

Please read my article explaining why the numbers are so important, and please let me know if you disagree. Click here.

He is Risen Indeed!

April 20th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in Special Days - (2 Comments)

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!

I try to re-post this wonderful illustration of this wonderful day every year…

The story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life, positive or negative, and remarking, “This is good!”

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation, the friend remarked as usual, “This is good!”

To which the king replied, “No, this is not good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail.African_king_from_Catalan_Atlas_(1375)

About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake.

As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone who was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend.

“You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. “And so, I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.”

“No,” his friend replied, “This is good!”

“What do you mean, ‘This is good?’ How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?”

“If I had not been in jail, I would have been with you.”

*****

God was pleased to crush Jesus and put him under all that suffering knowing that we would be saved by His death. That’s real love. What truly seemed so horrible and tragic was really… very good!

Happy Good Friday!

Gustave_Doré_-_Crucifixion_of_Jesus

*****

Now read a not so good thing that happened to me on a Good Friday in 2007. It’s called “Murder at Peet’s.

The Titanic Evangelist

April 15th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in HIStory | SUDDEN DEATH! - (14 Comments)

JOHN HARPER was an evangelist on the Titanic. On the anniversary of this tragedy, after 1,517 people perished in a watery grave, I want to remember a man of God who provided  hope for those who had little aboard the Titanic.

Here’s an excerpt from the Baptist Press on this great man:

When the Titanic hit the iceberg, Harper successfully led his daughter to a lifeboat. Being a widower he may have been allowed to join her but instead forsook his own rescue, choosing to provide the masses with one more chance to know Christ.

Der Untergang der TitanicHarper ran person to person, passionately telling others about Christ. As the water began to submerge the “unsinkable” ship, Harper was heard john harpershouting, “Women, children, and the unsaved into the lifeboats.” Rebuffed by a certain man at the offer of salvation Harper gave him his own life vest, saying, “You need this more than I do.” Up until the last moment on the ship Harper pleaded with people to give their lives to Jesus.

Four years after the tragedy at a Titanic survivor’s meeting in Ontario, Canada, one survivor recounted his interaction with Harper in the middle of the icy waters of the Atlantic. He testified he was clinging to ship debris when Harper swam up to him, twice challenging him with a biblical invitation to “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” He rejected the offer once. Yet given the second chance and with miles of water beneath his feet, the man gave his life to Christ. Then as Harper succumbed to his watery grave, this new believer was rescued by a returning lifeboat. As he concluded his remarks at the Ontario meeting of survivors he simply stated, “I am the last convert of John Harper.” Read the whole article here.

I GOT MY MONEY BACK FOR THE FIVE TICKETS I BOUGHT FOR NOAH, the movie.

Here’s why in 6 points. (But make sure you read the other two links at the bottom as well.)

1) I knew going in that it was unbiblical. That was not my issue. But it’s not only unbiblical, it’s laughably unbiblical: the only similarities between the Bible’s account and this film were these: guy with beard that never grows, (nor his sons’ beards) builds an ark and a flood happens, wiping out the human race. (No wonder…It was based on Gnostic and Kabbalh teachings! See link below.)

noahzzz

2) Russell Crowe’s emotions run the gamut from anger to confused and back again with no in-between.

3) The plot was incoherent. Silly even. It was as if a college film student was given $130 million and was told, “Make a biblical epic just like the “Lord of the Rings.”

4) My 12-year-old kept asking me how long the film was and kept looking at the time. Methuselah would’ve been bored, even if he had some berries to munch on. (Don’t ask. A silly plot point.)

5) Yes, the visuals were great. But you can get those from a kaleidoscope for a buck.

6) Speed tears. I remarked to my 14-year-old that those tears cried were very fast. I wonder if they were CGI drops? Did they use Super Onion Powder in their eyes?

I ended up asking for my money back after it was over. I have never done this, but the film was so horrific, I had to. I simply asked the manager and he suggested that I get my money back. I expected to get credit. The lady cheerfully refunded the money, nodding in agreement that the film was bad. My conscience is clear. I didn’t demand it; I simply asked nicely. Smiled even.

Darren_Aronofsky_GIFF_2013.jpegI understand that many may disagree with my review. That’s fine. I wanted to enjoy it, but couldn’t. Others may disagree with my asking for my money back. That’s your right. My conscience is clear.

P.S. I couldn’t shake the feeling that the director, Darren Aronofsky, an atheist), was mocking Christians. In fact, he was. In essence, the film portrayed Noah as the “seed of the serpent” because this movie was based on Gnostic and Kaballah tradition. Read this illuminating article by Dr. Brian Mattson that proves Darren Aronofsky has made fools of all Christians who loved this movie. Read it…and weep: http://drbrianmattson.com/journal/2014/3/31/sympathy-for-the-devil

P.P.S. And this review is hilarious: “I’m a Christian and I Think Noah Deserves a 4 Star Review” http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/03/29/im-a-christian-and-i-think-noah-deserves-a-four-star-review/

When I got the call from God to move to Texas on June 21, 2013, to plant Hope Chapel Hill Country (read about “my call to Texas” in part 1 by clicking here), I had no idea what was in store for me. I just wanted to be obedient. Within about two months, we sold our home, bought a new one, and we all moved. I have now been here over six months and our church just finished our first quarter.

Texas is a whole ‘nother country from Los Angeles, California, where I have lived my entire life. Here are just a few things I’ve noticed that are different after living here for six months.

1) Everyone’s a Baptist.

baptist

Or a former Baptist. The rest are Methodist. And if not, then First Baptists.

There are a lot of people who call themselves Christians. And let me tell you, it is refreshing since where I used to live, L.A., is a primarily atheistic culture.

2.  Cedar Fever

cedar

I’m told that the pollen levels are some of the worst in the nation due to a proliferation of Mountain Sycamores in the Hill Country. Thankfully, it takes about two to three years to develop an allergy. I’ll keep you posted in 2015. Achoo!

3. Scorpions in the house! No explanation needed. Just don’t put your pants on the floor. Or blankets. Or shoes. Or kids.

scorpion

4. Deer in the backyard. Also, wild turkeys.

deer

Sadly, we are starting to see Austin in our backyard, too, due to a construction boom. And they are all moving from California!

5. Huge, ridiculous shifts in weather.

cold car

I was surprised to find that Auto Club doubled our home insurance after moving from SoCal. “Yep,” an agent explained, “Texas gets the worst weather in the country.”

When I got to my office at 8AM one Sunday morning before church, it was about 74 degrees and humid, so I wore shorts. At 10AM I went outside and the temp had dropped to the mid-forties. After service ended at 12:30PM it was in the 30s. When I got home at 5PM, it was 28 degrees. This was a 46 degree shift in temperature in less then 9 hours…in the daytime! And yes, I changed into long pants.

6. Gas is cheaper. Electricity, too. Water is three times higher.

gas

7. Unparallelled beauty in the Texas Hill Country.

beauty3

(Both images are from our sub-division.)

beauty 2

Also, Texas is known as “The Friendly State.” I have found this to be true. It has been so easy to make friends with strangers, neighbors and the local pastors. Most people wave when they drive by your car. “Thank you” is heard a lot. Also, Texas is #1 in job creation and dead-last in signing up for ObamaCare.

8. My vote mattered. For the first time in my Christian adult life, all my votes counted; that is, every proposition I voted “Yes” on, won! (Yes, this was a GOP Primary, but hey! This is exciting! Never happened in California. EVER!)

countTake the last election for example:

Proposition 1: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Texans should be free to express their religious beliefs, including prayer, in public places. RESULTS: 97% voted YES!

Proposition 2: SECOND AMENDMENT. Texas should support Second Amendment liberties by expanding locations where concealed handgun license-holders may legally carry. RESULTS: 87% voted YES!

Proposition 3: FRANCHISE TAX. Texas should abolish the state franchise tax, also known as the margins tax, to encourage business growth. RESULTS: 88% voted YES!

Proposition 4: WELFARE REFORM. Texas recipients of taxpayer-funded public assistance should be subject to random drug testing as a condition of receiving benefits. RESULTS: 95% voted YES!

Proposition5: NO LAWMAKER EXCEPTIONS. All elected officials and their staff should be subject to the same laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances as their constituents. RESULTS: 99% voted YES!

Proposition 6: OBAMACARE. The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” should be repealed. RESULTS: 93% voted YES!

9. That I would miss California so much, especially my church family and friends.

hope

tony and gang

lw

10. How much I would enjoy planting Hope Chapel Hill Country!

communion

Click: Read about our Hope Chapel Hill Country Grand Opening.

Click: Here’s what I do day-to-day.

Click: Here’s Hope Chapel Hill Country’s weekly attendance report for the first quarter.

Click: Here’s the Bible translation we are using and why.

Click: Read about my terrible trial at the Senior Citizens Activity Center

Hill Country Hypocrisy

March 26th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in Texas Tales! - (2 Comments)

SOME HYPOCRISY WAS ON DISPLAY at the Senior Citizens Activity Center where my daughter and I visited at lunch time a few weeks ago….

(Start at Part 1 by clicking here.)

If you’ve been following this story, then you know I’ve been having a few run-ins with the manager there. My purpose in visiting these healthy, active Senior Citizens is to get to know them and the Dripping Springs community. So far, the manager has warned me not to preach the Gospel, nor talk about Jesus. I’,m also forbidden to pray for or help people.

What’s a pastor to do? Keep persevering.

I brought the manager flowers a few weeks ago to mend things, though I have done nothing wrong. Because visitors are welcome there, I invited a visiting missionary family of 9 and two evangelists to join me on “Visitors Day.” Though I did caution them to talk quietly and softly about God. And they did.

Before meal time, someone is always invited to pray. I have only been invited once. Today, was “Preacher” Cody’s turn (in photo below). I had heard good things about him. He’s a lay pastor at the local Methodist church where the manager attends. He was the “resident minister” at the Senior Center before I arrived three months ago. In fact, I arrived at the Center the very week he stopped going due to his work hours changing.

Thankfully, he was a true man of God.

codyHere’s the rub: Before he prayed, he spoke in the microphone about the necessity of belonging to Jesus Christ and urged people to live for him. He preached out of John chapter 4, explaining that Jesus had Living Water for all, then prayed a God-glorifying prayer. In short, it was an out-and-out evangelical message, the type of message I was warned not to talk about.

I spoke with Cody briefly afterward, and it turns out before he went to the Methodist church, be went to a fellowship that met…at the same location where Hope Chapel Hill Country meets!!!

No, I haven’t asked him about the manager….yet.

But why am I forbidden to speak in the name of Jesus privately while he’s able to publicly proclaim him loudly?

I don’t know, but as long as Christ is preached, I’m happy. Still, I will get to the bottom of this.

Outside, after lunch, a little old lady asked if I could help her move a TV set for a legally blind man. I said yes. I’m there to help.

Last week, outside and after lunch, I prayed for a young woman who had an early onset of Alzheimer’s.

At the gym, another elderly lady recognized me and offered this encouragement: “It’s not what you say, it’s what you are doing.” She assured me that she knew what was going on.

Until I get this all cleared up, I’m gonna continue to do good, I’ll pray–and continue to tell people about Jesus.

Outside.

Read what appears to be a happy ending to this saga by clicking here.

 

Click here to read what happened at a City Council
Meeting in California when I prayed using the illegal name of Jesus.

I was thinking about what my life used to be like before I moved to Texas to plant a church and thought about how much my priorities have changed since arriving in Dripping Springs on September 29, 2013. One of my favorite things to do was preach in the open air regularly.

It has been six months since I have done so.

The first time I ever preached “on-the-box” in the open air was with Ray Comfort in Huntington Beach.

preach rayThe last time I preached “on the box”  in the open-air was with Ray Comfort in Newport Beach. In fact, it was a Golden Box, made as a going-away present.

gold boxDo I still think preaching in the open air is valid when sharing the Gospel? Of course.

I still agree with my mentor, Charles Spurgeon:

No sort of defense is needed for preaching out of doors; but it would need very potent arguments to prove that a man had done his duty who has never preached beyond the walls of his meeting house.

My life and responsibilities have changed.

It’s one thing to be the Pastor of Evangelism in L.A. at a large church in a metropolitan area with a population of thirteen million, quite another to be the pastor of a Texas church plant in a town of less than 2,000. (There are 40,000 in the surrounding countryside, though).

But I still share my faith. Nearly everyday. Now I do it primarily with Gospel tracts and personal conversations, accompanied by an invitation to Hope Chapel Hill Country.

Still, a great opportunity presented itself just recently.

I was enjoying my 55th birthday celebration with my family as we visited San Antonio a few days ago. We stopped at the Alamo and saw hundreds of people in line. I looked around, blinked, and imagined that I was back on Hollywood Blvd., preaching to the hundreds milling about Grauman’s Chinese Theater, looking at the celebrity hand prints. Oh, how I enjoyed preaching there. The area surrounding the Alamo looks almost exactly like Hollywood Blvd.! (See my interview with The Joker on Hollywood Blvd., below.)

I thought about how I used to preach at the American Idol Finals, the NBA Finals, the Academy Awards, USC football games, the Lakers Victory Parade, Doo-Dah Parade, Tournament of Roses Parade and the Long Beach Veterans Day Parade (below).

I looked at my wife and kids and asked if they would mind, as a special birthday present, if I preached to that line. They said it was okay.

I planned on doing it a little later.

After a thoroughly enjoyable day touring the town on a double-decker bus, we dismounted the steps.

bus tourI then remembered the Alamo, but it was too late: The crowds were gone.

Oh no! What do I do now?

Next time, I thought to myself, next time.

A Tale of Two Rings

March 16th, 2014 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in ABOUT ME & MY BLOG - (2 Comments)

I JUST TURNED 55.

But I received the best gift ever from my wife to help ease the pain: a new wedding ring.

I wept telling the story to my daughters about the old one.

rings

Before Karen and I got married she was out of a job and had no money. She was forced by circumstances to buy me a very small, eight carat gold band. I called it my Widow’s Mite ring because she gave all she had for love. Over the years it bent out of shape, got snagged on things and scratched me regularly, yet I never took it off because it always reminded me of Karen’s love.

On my 55th birthday celebration I replaced it, but will always treasure my wife’s sacrifice seventeen years ago.

In the name of love.

(P.S. This was, by far, the most popular story I posted on Facebook at 259 “Likes.”
Click here to read the second most “popular” Facebook post at 249 comments.

Q: What’s the size of U.S. churches? (From the Hartford Institute for Religion Research)

A: The median church in the U.S. has 75 regular participants in worship on Sunday mornings, according to the National Congregations Study. Notice that researchers measured the median church size — the point at which half the churches are smaller and half the churches are larger — rather than the average (186 attenders reported by the USCLS survey) which is larger due to the influence of very large churches. But while the United States has a large number of very small churches, most people attend larger churches. The National Congregations Study estimated that the smaller churches draw only 11 percent of those who attend worship. Meanwhile, 50 percent of churchgoers attended the largest 10% of congregations (350 regular participants and up). (Do numbers really matter? Read my article by clicking here.)

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Here is the attendance record for Hope Chapel Hill Country since its inception. This will be updated weekly. (Please read why church planting really is about the numbers by clicking here.)

FIRST QUARTER

JAN.: 1.5.14: 18 (All new visitors) 1.12.14: 17 (2 new visitors) 1.19.14: 21 (3 new visitors) 1.26.14: 12 (? new visitors)

FEB. 2.2.14: 24 (7 new visitors) 2.9.14: 19 (3 new visitors) 2.16.14: 13 (2 new visitors) 2.23.14: 19 (3 new visitors)

MARCH: 3.2.14: 29 (3 new visitors) 3.9.14: 17 (3 new visitors) 3.16.14: 16  (4 new visitors) 3.23.14: 23 (4 new visitors) 3.30.14: 23 (1 new visitor)

1st Quarter Stats

Total # of visitors, including my family, at the end of the first quarter: 47

Total Attendance: 251

Average attendance: 19.3 per service

SECOND QUARTER

APRIL: 4/6/14: 27 (4 new visitors); 4/13/14: 12 (4 new visitors); 4/20/14: EASTER: 37 (12 new visitors); 4/27/14: 19 (4 new visitors)

MAY: 5/04/14: 18 (1 new visitor); 5/11/14: 17 (3 new visitors); 5/18/14: 30? (No official count was taken. Guest speaker.) (3 new visitors); 5/25/14: 20 (No visitors. Streak broken)

JUNE: 6/01/14: 17 (No visitors); 6/08/14: 18 (6 visitors); 6/15/14: 16 (2 visitors); 6/22/14: 13 (No visitors); 6/29/14: 14  (2 visitors) (NOTE: Lost 7 regulars for no reason, two others with a reason)

2nd Quarter Stats:

New Visitors: 41

Total Attendance: 258

Average attendance: 19.8 per service

3rd QUARTER

JULY

07/06/14: 11 (4 visitors)

07/13/14: 13 (No visitors)

07/20/14: 17 (3 visitors)

Cartoon by Adam4d
Creative Commons License

 

Pastors say it all the time when assessing their flock. Church members try to avoid sounding braggadocios when speaking about it. Christian leaders warn never to make this your focus.

What am I talking about?

Have you ever heard the phrase: “It’s not about the numbers.”?

I’m here to say it is about the numbers.

Because numbers are souls.

church_numbers 1
I do understand and wholeheartedly agree with Jesus when he declared, …”I will build my church….” I trust him to do this. He brings the people and my focus should not be on how many come each Sunday. Still, numbers matter.

This is what Charles Spurgeon said about it:

I am not among those who decry statistics, nor do I consider that they are productive of all manner of evil; for they do much good if they are accurate, and if men use them lawfully. It is a good thing for people to see the nakedness of the land through statistics of decrease, that they may be driven on their knees before the Lord to seek prosperity; and, on the other hand, it is by no means an evil thing for workers to be encouraged by having some account of results set before them. I should be very sorry if the practice of adding up, and deducting, and giving in the net result were to be abandoned, for it must be right to know our numerical condition. It has been noticed that those who object to the process are often brethren whose unsatisfactory reports should somewhat humiliate them …. The fact is, you can reckon very correctly if the figures are honest, and if all circumstances are taken into consideration if there is no increase, you may calculate with considerable accuracy that there is not much being done; and if there is a clear decrease among a growing population, you may reckon that the prayers of the people and the preaching of the minister are not of the most powerful kind. —”The Soul Winner”

When people show up at Hope Chapel Hill Country, they will hear the Word of God preached, have an opportunities to serve, to give, and to worship in an environment geared specifically for believers. They will be built up, spurred on and straightened out. They will be prayed over, hugged warmly, encouraged greatly.

Most of all they will have the chance to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

That is why it is about numbers. Because more people may mean more disciples, more obedient servants, more gospel witnesses.

So, I will do my part: inviting, cajoling, and pressing people to attend on Sunday, trusting that God will bring to him all that are His.

As I count, I will count on Him.

The more the merrier.

And sometimes, holier.

Read the week-to-week attendance of Hope Chapel Hill Country by clicking here.

Image credit: SacredSandwich.com