Soccer, Church, and Focusing on Something Other Than Numbers

Our son Eli has been learning how to play soccer on Friday evenings thanks to a new coach named Stevie. Considering I’m not even remotely athletic, I’m grateful that Eli has the opportunity to learn a sport without the formality of joining an official local league.

What impressed me tonight is that there were only 5 kids there and Stevie was as enthusiastic and positive as he might be if there had been a large group of kids. Rather than focus on who wasn’t there, he focused on who was there.

So often we get discouraged if turnout or numbers are low for an event or for church or something else we have planned. We have hopes or expectations of more people or of something bigger or more significant and then only a few show up. We wonder if we wasted all of our effort in preparation.

Seeing Stevie teach this small group of kids to play soccer made me think of how important it is to focus on people and not numbers. Not that numbers aren’t relevant but they’re not the most significant factor or the best way to measure the value of what we’re doing.

As a pastor of a small church, it was encouraging to be reminded of this.

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