Thursday, January 31, 2008

The biggest number is 1.

When my original blog crashed in December I lost 50% of my readers.

The reading night I planned at my house was canceled because of snow and only one person showed up.

My friend sold one million books. I sold 19.

All together, these numbers are a little depressing to me. They're just not that impressive. I don't feel like I'm doing something big for God, whatever that means.

So the other day I prayed that. I had just finished reading a bunch of verses about how when we ask things in his name, Christ will grant them. So I prayed something like, "Lord please give me a massive ministry. Give me a huge group of people to show your glory to."

And a second later God reminded me that in many ways that prayer had already been answered. I didn't get a lightning bolt or writing on the wall, he just called my attention to a verse that revealed the truth about my concerns for a massive ministry. Here is what Luke 15:10 says:

I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

In my mind, one is a very small number. It's not big or flashy or sexy and doesn't feel successful like one million. But in God's economy, in his system of math, one is massive. One is cause for great celebration among a heavenly host.

I may never be huge in the world's eyes or have a book with my picture on the front with really white teeth and manicured fingernails and hair that looks fancy. But if I reach one person, if I can tell one person that God loves them and they can believe that, then my ministry is massive. My work is huge and the angels will celebrate.

And that's enough for me.


Kelly Moreton said...

hi! i am a new reader. you have a book? what is it called?

chief320 said...

This reminds me of the saying... "How do you eat and elephant? Well, one bite at a time of course."

So often we think that to be effective Christians we have to have the Billy Graham level of reach. In reality, very few people have that reach - and that reach is often shallow. The real impact comes from those who build relationships one person at a time.

SonnyB said...

Thanks for the encouragement. One person getting to know Jesus in a life changing way gets God's attention. Kinda like the widow who gave the two mites in Mark 12:42.

Les said...

Great post. The church is the worst culprit for playing the numbers game.

Abby said...

I was led to Christ by a fellow mom who befriended me at our neighborhood playground. It took me five years to "get it" but she never gave up; she just kept on loving me. I am forever grateful to God for sending her. As she likes to say, "It's all about relationship." Thanks for your ever thoughtful posts.

Elizabeth said...

Kelly- Jon's book is called "The After Party" and it can be found on (search Prodigal Jon in books and you'll get both the hardback and paperback listings.)

seven said...

Aha! I wondered why I stopped getting feeds. That explains a lot. But I'm back... does that count? :)

Robin Sam said...

Jon: I liked this post. Simple and very effective, if you ask me. Can I reproduce this in the newspaper that my wife and I are running? With full credits, of course. You can see the newspaper's website at Thanks,