Chilly —  May 14, 2014 — 9 Comments

9 Reasons Why 10 Leadership Lessons
may be 8 Too many or 3 Too Short!


Have you ever thought about why so many people use numbered lists for every profound thought or idea? Really, why??

Seems like most leadership or ministry posts that I read always have whatever topic the author is choosing to discuss broken down into a certain number of points … and, they promote it by saying “Eight Ways to…” or “Ten Proven Lessons…” or whatever! It kind of makes it sound like they’re saying that they have found the exact amount of answers or truths on the topic they’re presenting. I think it was man, not God, that called the TEN COMMANDMENTS by that title — because there were MORE than ten and, as we see in the New Testament, there are also less than TEN! And, no, this is not my attempt to minimize the importance of the Ten Commandments – they were distinct & written on tablets – but, were they numbered & titled?

I guess what I’m saying is that I read, so often, titles of books or posts with numbers stated in such a way that it implies ‘that’s it, I’ve discovered the exact amount’ … now, of course, this post is being presented tongue-in-cheek! I’m not picking a fight or trying to offend. I understand that there may be no spiritually redeeming value in this post. And, I must admit, I use lists too… I simply would love some dialog on the subject of “Why Number EVERYTHING?!” Or, why present the numbered list as if it’s the definitive list? Ok, that’s it! Blow up the comments on this!

Then I’ll take all the comments presented and make a list of
THE SEVEN Reasons People Use Numbers” Ha!

Your opinion counts (not that I’m counting),


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Chilly is a follower of Christ, husband of a queen and father of avengers. Executive Director of Instagram: @thechillychilton Twitter: @iChilly "I LOVE: my wife Netta, our 5 amazing kids, Buckeyes, good coffee, U2, Nike shoes, anything Apple, sushi, my dog Jack, beach vacations, sports, books & YOU!"

9 responses to Numbers?

  1. Smile. I find in one e-mail, it is easier to skim through it with numbers and bold letters for the topic. I get the idea.

    • Yeah, I get the whole numbering (make a list) part … maybe I struggle more with the title — here’s a few I just read:
      8 Things Healthy Couples Don’t Do
      5 Things Christians Should Stop Saying
      5 Signs You May Have a Wrong View of God
      — question: are there more than 8 things healthy couples don’t do (or less)?

  2. I definitely agree. Pastor Dave actually talked about this a week ago – the health of our spiritual life isn’t found in our adherence to lists, but in a strong, growing relationship with Jesus. An important part of Jesus’ ministry was to amend the Commandments, and change our perspective on them. He was a list-abolisher. Not to say that all lists are bad, but if we can only see Christianity through the paradigm of a list of things to do and things not to do, then we’ll have a very restricted relationship with the God we’re not clearly understanding.

    • Wow, GREAT thoughts Tevin! I love: “the health of our spiritual life isn’t found in our adherence to lists, but in a strong, growing relationship with Jesus.” — your pastor is very wise! By the way, I miss you man!

  3. For me, I’m just wired for lists. It makes me tick and helps me function. I’m not married to them and understand that numbers are not final, but they help me and others to connect principles with steps or ideas with actions.

    • Yep, I hear what you’re saying. And, I agree.

      Again, for me is how definitive we make these lists sound.
      — like, 7 Mistakes Made by Leaders — why not just say, “Mistakes Made by Leaders” and then list 7 — then there’s room to amend the post/list. Make sense? I guess I get frustrated (and maybe just me) with ‘know-it-all’ sounding teachings. Did Christ ever give numbers to the beatitudes, or steps to the Lord’s prayer, etc.

      I’m weird. I’m very open to the fact that this may just be a me thing. That’s why I’ll asking here.

  4. It gets a little old after a while…but there are probably good reasons it’s still a common way to present thoughts!
    One thing I thought of….using a numbered list (that isn’t too long) can make the change seem doable and less overwhelming. It also breaks up the text and probably reads easier.

    I dunno. I do agree that sometimes it implies that things can be fixed by following a list…troublesome.

    • Yep… like I said, I use lists (a lot). I would just hate to have every sermon that I preached be: 7 reasons for… or, How to pray in 5 steps… tonight, I’m teaching & leading on prayer. I don’t have definitive numbered points BUT when we prayer — the application part — I’m giving 10 things to pray about.

      So, I guess… it’s more about moderation or at least, mix it up a bit…

  5. Interesting thought. I have made to do and task lists and numbered or ordered items by what “seems” most important at the time I made the list. Thinking about this I have not made a list with numbers or importance order when I have written prayers or thoughts to share with God. Hmm….now I really have something I can think about! Thanks Pastor Chilly, you will help me to grow one way or another. : )

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