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Should God Have Drowned Noah?
By Vernon Dunning

No matter how faithful the preacher or how hard he works, if certain numerical results are not visible, some in the church will insist that he be replaced. The contributions and the attendance figures are used as gauges. The preacher's work is evaluated by statistics.

Poor old Noah worked long and hard in building the ark. He was a "preacher of righteousness" (2nd Peter 2:5). Although he may have preached and worked on the ark for many years, when the showdown came only his immediate family went into the ark with him. All that work and only eight souls (counting the preacher) were saved! Some of the folks who assess preaching by numerical results probably wonder why God did not drown old Noah in the flood! They would argue that his work was ineffective and without impact. But God demands faithfulness, not what we add up as "visible results". We need more preachers like Noah.

The concept that in the absence of certain numerical developments a preacher is not doing his job may lead to tactics and schemes that are wrong. A preacher may feel pressured and obligated to attain "results". Therefore the message is watered down. Emphasis is placed on whatever may attract more people. Higher statistical ratings take priority. Dedication to "preach the Word" takes a back seat.

God blessed Noah despite the small numerical showing from his work. There are some things far more important than counting noses and adding monetary amounts. God promised through Isaiah that His word would not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11). Spiritual increase is more valuable than mere numerical increase. Let us show faith in God by loyally proclaiming the gospel without trying to force a particular kind of increase. Paul said, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase" (1st Corinthians 3:6). Our task is to be faithful in planting and watering. God handles the increase.

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