It is common for evangelistic ministries to count salvations. ONTHEREDBOX is not in the habit of doing so. There are several factors that convince me counting is not a great idea.
1. HOW DO I KNOW IF SOMEONE IS SAVED?
The story of the sower talks about four people who heard the Gospel. Three “got saved”, but in the end, only one brought forth fruit. It is pretty difficult to know, in the end, who will persevere. Demas was a “fellow worker” with Paul the Apostle in the ministry but in the end deserted Paul because he loved the present world.
2. WHAT EXACTLY AM I COUNTING?
A lady on the street told me that someone got saved. “They said the prayer, and that is the most important thing,” she said. So are we counting a prayer? Do we count those that raise their hand in a church service or respond to an altar call or those that fill out a contact card? Do we count church attendance or baptism? I suppose there are numerous ways to count, but none of them reveal genuine conversions to Christ.
Doesn’t the book of Acts give numbers of people saved? Not really. But it does give the approximate numbers of those that received the Word, were baptised and added to the church. (Acts 2:41)
3. WHY AM I COUNTING, REALLY?
The times I have counted, my motive was so other people would think well of me. I wanted folks to know that my evangelistic methods worked and that I was effective. It is the same reason why I like to take pictures and video when there is a larger crowd listening to our open-air preaching. Pretty sad.
ONTHEREDBOX says things like:
- We preached to so many tonight…
- I talked and prayed with 4 people today.
- Someone came to church and responded to the call of repentance and faith.
- So many received the Word, were baptised and added to the church.
LET GOD COUNT
“Aren’t numbers important to God?” I would image they are. So why don’t we let Him do the counting? God has a book in heaven called the BOOK OF LIFE. He is the only one that knows the names written there. You could ask Him how many people have been Born Again through your ministry, but I think you might have to wait until judgement day to find out!
The idea is that God receive all the glory for those that repent. How about we enjoy being co-laborors with Christ and leave the results in His hands?