I usually write simple, quick-to-read lists on this site—typically 6-10 items that I hope are relevant, challenging, and encouraging. Today, though, I want to give you 5 billion+ reasons to be humble as we lead God’s people this weekend.
- I’m a Southern Baptist, which means I’m one of about 14.5 million people in about 47,000 cooperating congregations. Suppose every Southern Baptist were to know my name (which is most certainly not the case for me, and not for even the best-known Southern Baptist), but no one else knew me. If that were the case, in all my popularity as a Southern Baptist, 96% of the United States population would still not know me.
- Broaden that concept a bit. Suppose every evangelical in the United States (perhaps 90 million people, depending on definition) knew my name, but no one else did. If that were the case, 73% of the United States would still not know me by name.
- Then, if every person classified as a Christian in the world (listed as 2.4 billion people, though that number is often defined in ways that make evangelicals uncomfortable) knew my name, but no one else did, 70% of the world would still not know that I exist. More than 5 billion people would not know me.
Here’s the reality: no matter how important we think we are, most of the world – including most of the Christian world – has never even heard of us.
Still, though, God chooses to use us to proclaim His Word. For those of us who lead a local church, God has deemed that we’re the person to guide that congregation for now.
Most people don’t know us, but God does—and He’s placed us in His plan.