If any of us need to be reminded of the need for Jesus in our community and our state, I just ran across some numbers in the last couple of weeks that should get us motivated. Ron Barker sent me an e-mail with these stats, and then my friend Jonathan Everette, who is a church planter in Spartanburg, mentioned them on his blog. (I've added Jonathan's blog to the list of lincs)
Here are the numbers: On an average Sunday morning 77% of the people of South Carolina are not in church. In 2004, the population of South Carolina was listed at 4,198,068, that means that on an average Sunday there are 3,463,406 people who need to be reached! Let that sink in for a moment. Almost 3 and a half million people that either don't know Jesus or are not worshipping with other followers of Christ the way the bible instructs us to. When I hear those numbers a few thoughts pop into my head.
- We need more churches! It's proven that new churches reach new people. We've seen that here at Freedom and the same is true all over this state. The over 3,000,000 plus that need to be in church won't all be reached by existing churches. That's why we need to be active in helping more churches that teach the good news of Jesus get started.
-Churches need to quit worrying about losing their members to other churches. Remember, the church exists for those who don't know Jesus, and there are plenty to go around! If all of God's churches would begin to do all they could to reach the 3,000,000 then we wouldn't have time to worry about another church stealing our people.
- We can't let up. There is much work to do to reach our community, and until all of them know Jesus there will always be work to do. Invite your friends to worship with you at Freedom. Pray for them to understand the love of Jesus. Demonstrate the true freedom that comes from Christ in every encounter you have with them.
Here's an idea for all of us, write the number 3,463,406 on a post-it note and put it somewhere you will see it everyday. Allow that note to remind you to pray that we would reach each and every one of those people. Start today by inviting someone to join you at Freedom this Sunday. They will hear the good news of Jesus.