As I was reading along, the following paragraph made me stop. I re-read it. Once again, I was reminded that the focus on numbers of attendees (counting noses) completely misses the point of “church growth” in Scripture. Here is the paragraph:
We have already noted that the New Testament authors show little interest in statistical data about the growth of the churches. Luke is the only author who provides any figures, all of which are round numbers related to the growth of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 2:41; 4:4; 9:7), despite the fact that he would have been familiar with precise statistical data that the Old Testament provides for the size of Israel at different stages of history. Luke usually is content to point to the growth of the church with general formulations. The practice of some missiologists in which they provide quantitative statistical projections for the planning of church growth in a particular region or country and formulate numerical “goals” of church growth would have been regarded by the apostles as bizarre, arrogant, and presumptuous. When the Gospel writers speak about growth, they generally refer to that of the kingdom of God, and when Paul speaks about growth, he generally refers to believers moving toward spiritual maturity. The numerical growth of the church as a whole or of the local congregations is never explicitly discussed or alluded to, not even in connection with statements regarding bringing “fruit” or “harvest.” – Eckhard J. Schnabel, Early Christian Mission, Downers Grove: IVP, 2004, 1581-2.