More: Names and Numbers

More: Names and Numbers

Do you ever suffer from a desire to do more for God and to grow His Kingdom? Does this desire ever become a serious burden, bordering on discouragement?

Sometimes this thirst can become overwhelming. It can become a temptation to think that the salvation of the world should happen on our terms and on our watch. And often it can skew our perception about what exactly doing ‘more’ for the Kingdom means.


We think in terms of numbers. Thus, ‘doing more’ (i.e. being more effective and productive) means achieving higher numbers. Success is equated with big numbers. Now, there is a certain way in which this is true. It is obviously a good thing for more and more people to come to know Jesus. But, if we begin to see our success or failure simply in terms of numbers, we lose our grip on reality.

We serve a God for whom “one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). A God who chose to reach the whole world through little more than 12 people and who turns one piece of bread into everything without destroying its oneness. God doesn’t pay much heed to numbers.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

God thinks in terms of names. God doesn’t see hoards or masses – He sees each face. He loves each and every individual person with all of His Love. He blows apart our usual conception of things.

We who hunger to serve the Kingdom, but yet see so dimly the way things actually work need to hear this. To truly ‘make a difference’ doesn’t mean affecting or helping or reaching more people. Greatness is found not in the abundance of our actions, but in the abundance of our love (paraphrasing Mother Teresa.)

If… I have not love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2)

Our focus should never be size and quantity, but love. Love never dies. Love lasts forever. Every drop of love echoes in Heaven forever. Loving just one person actually ‘works’ more, ‘achieves’ more, makes more of a ‘difference’ than all the money, research, buildings, schemes, plans and sweat of man that reach millions of people and are considered great social contributions, yet aren’t so concerned with love.


This is a tremendous comfort when our very well intended desire to have more of an ‘impact’ starts to discourage us because we just don’t know what to do about it. (Side note: discouragement is always a good sign of the devil at work!) We just want to be able to reach more people, run more programs and do more stuff so that His Name might be heard!

But often the Lord says, “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do. I do not think in terms of numbers. I think in terms of names.” We should thirst for every single souls, like He does, but we shouldn’t go above our pay grade. None of us is the Savior of the world.

And so, as always, we must learn how to love. Start simple – sit in silence and be loved by Jesus, let Him love you and let Him help you love more. Ask Him to take Him with you on His Mission and know that He hears you. You are not in charge. Surrender to the very small, but very important part He has for you to play. Do not move faster than grace. Do not try to do ‘more’ than God has for you to do, because that ‘more’ would actually be less.

Serve the King, thirst for souls, stay in the ache that longs for all the world to know Him, love with abandon and do not be anxious about ‘doing enough.’ Instead…

Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

Joey McCoy

Joey McCoy

Joey McCoy is the Assistant Director of i.d.9:16. He graduated from medical school in 2017, but felt Jesus pull him out of medicine to do full-time ministry. Joey's passion is to help people discover and embrace the most authentic ways of being "a people of God on the move" and how to live the way of life of Jesus in myriad contexts. Additionally, Joey is married, a father and enjoys the ocean, Michigan football, used bookstores and hunting for the finest espresso
Joey McCoy

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