“How many do you worship?”

/ 30 October 2005

I hate this question: “how many do you worship?” In the Lutheran context this is shorthand for “given how many people are on your membership rolls, how many actually show up on Sundays at worship?” But the question always makes me wonder if there’s an underlying set of assumptions about “numbers” of people in church meaning something good or bad about the ministries of any given church. (Not to mention, taken literally, the question implies something other than monotheism!)

In any case, LatinoLiz has a great way to turn this question around. She thinks the question of "how big is your church?" should be replaced by the question "how big is your community impact?" and "would the community weep if your church were to pull out?" I think this is a much more important question -- so, how big is the community impact of your church? I certainly intend to ask that of ours!