Do Church Membership Numbers Matter?

Posted on January 25, 2011


The Adventist Review recently asked the question, “Do we need Adventist megachurches?”  You can read the article for yourself [CLICK HERE].  I do not think we need supersized megachurches with memberships into the thousands.  But we do need to stop messing around in the membership minors and begin seeking major league results. 

The Word of God talks about early church disciples who were not satisfied with small numbers.  They had just received a great commission and were boldly proclaiming the good news about Jesus.  Peter preached a powerful sermon and, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. And the same day there were added about three thousand souls. And they were continuing steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, and in fellowship and in the breaking of the loaves, and in prayers” (Acts 2:41, 42).

Most of the Adventist churches in North America and around the world would not be able to handle that kind of growth.  Instead of growing churches and planting new ones, we choose to remain satisfied with the status quo. 

For example: The beautiful city of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania has over 300,000 people and only one small Adventist church. 

The church has 231 members on the books, but sees nowhere near that many in church on any given Sabbath.  How many years will go by before the local church members decide to try something different?  Why can’t we see that self-driven traditionalism within our churches will only keep us lukewarm and stagnant? 

I agree with the article when it talks about how we need to be careful not to water down our theology or contemporize our worship service just to draw the unchurched into church.  At the end of the article the author says that the level of spirituality is more important than the numbers.  I say, “Yes and no!”  If our church members and leaders are truly connected to the source of power, Jesus Christ, our church buildings will begin to fill up and over flow into brand new church plants. 

Yes… numbers do matter to the heavenly Father.  Higher the salvation numbers means more of God’s children in heaven.                 

Posted in: Evangelism