Numbers can lie…

Baseball is a game of failure.  If you are a sports fan, then you know this realization.  That’s why people who even love sports hate baseball.

If someone is up to bat 20 times, and they get a hit 8 of those times, they are playing at a level that is considered not only great but also historical.  That’s pretty ridiculous.

My first test of my college career was a little rough.  I got a 28/100.  Yes, that’s not a typo, 28%.  In baseball terms, that’s batting .280.  If I batted .280 in the MLB I’d be starting on some teams.  Too bad that’s now how it works with grading…

This year is my third year doing K-Life full-time.  It’s been incredible, brutal on my heart, but incredible.  Here is what I mean by that:

I have seen four groups of seniors in high school graduate and head off to college since I’ve been involved.  I have been the small group leader and spiritual mentor for 3 of these groups.  I have fallen in love with this year in a kid’s life.  I believe it’s crucial, and possibly one of the most important years in someone’s life—I am dead serious.

Senior year is the last time a kid has until he moves to set up the trajectory for possibly the rest of his/her life.  The reality is both scary and realistic.  The beliefs shaped this year truly do set you up for the long haul.  I’ve seen it first hand.

Like I said, 3 different small groups, the exact number to dudes that I’ve led is 23.  Now I want to talk about them as numbers just to paint a picture so you can see why I said my job at times is brutal on my heart:

Of the 23 that I have been around, the Gospel has radically changed 5 of them.  3 of those 5 were saved at K-Life.  That’s a 21% “success rate” to put it in numbers form.

That’s not even good by baseballs standards.

Of the other 18, I am still in communication with 2 of them.  Let me preface that by communication I mean I have talked to briefly and casually over the past three years.  The other 16, I literally have no idea where they stand, what they believe, and how they are.

5-23?  Really… That’s it Garrett.  That messes with me.

Everything in my flesh beats me up about this!  It would be so easy to stop there and close the book and say, “you’ve failed.”  And at times, I end days like that.

Then I hear what Jesus said to Peter on the water, “Where is your faith? Do you trust me?”

Praise God that he is not a God of numbers, or of statistics, and that His plan from the beginning to reconcile creation was so personal!  From the beginning he knew what he was doing, why have I made myself the hero?  I’m just in the credits at the end of this movie.  Jesus is the hero.

I continually put too much emphasis and expectations on myself.  If I continue to look through the lens of wins and loses, and not that Jesus already won, I will be crushed by lies.  My job is to present a new paradigm for these guys, the rest isn’t up to me!

Weight lifted!  Now I got direction of how to keep walking!

So because of the lens of the Holy Spirit, this is how I see Jesus’ ministry through me these past three year:

I have been chosen and given the incredible gift and job to present the good news of the Story of the Gospel to students.  And I will strive to do it faithfully and in accordance to the Scriptures.  Over the past 6 years of doing this in Waco, I have personally been a vessel to watch the Holy Spirit turn 5 dudes from death to life.  Jesus’ good news has penetrated, re-worked, and shifted the paradigm of 3 of these guys this past YEAR!  And I got to watch it happen.

Light always overcomes darkness.

Luckily, Jesus was perfect in his plan and knew that if it were up to me, I’d mess it up.  So I am clinging to his plan is perfect that he is reconciling everything back to Him, and I get to be apart of it.  I’ll take whatever glimpse of His glory I can get.

Let’s end with numbers shall we:

Jesus labored with 12.  He left it in the hands of 11(+1 Spirit of God, talk about unfair advantage).  Within weeks, there were over 3,000 that the Holy Spirit awoke to the Gospel.  And “praising God and enjoying the favor of all people the Lord added to their numbers daily those who were saved.”- Acts 2:47.

He’s sovereign. He has a plan.  And he’s perfect.  An above all else, He is good!  So I can’t worry about what if’s and uncertainty… because He is sure—So I will be find rest in that.



One thought on “Numbers can lie…

  1. Michael says:

    dude, this post is really good. As a youth leader I feel like people always want to suck me into the “numbers game.”I really needed to hear this and put on the same “Holy Spirit lens” as you described. thanks man.

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