Scripture Engagement Four Plusser = Relational Christ Follower
Data collected from several different surveys with well over 40,000 respondents of all ages (13-80) and from all across the USA demonstrates that Scriptural Engagement (reading, listening to, memorizing) was a much better indicator of spiritual growth than church or small group attendance.
The results of the scientific study also noted a significant difference in the moral behavior of someone that consistently engages (reads or listens to) the Bible four or more times per week (4-plusser) compared to someone who doesn’t Interestingly too, there is NO such difference in the moral behavior of someone that claims to be a Christian and reads the Bible less than four times a week and the individual that is not a Christ-follower or church attender.
Definitions: (Scriptural engagement x per week)
- (3 to Zero) x = NOTIONAL Christ-follower(NCF): believes in the notion of Christ & relationship is based on 'one-way' communication to a concept of Christ in his or her mind.
- (4+) x = RELATIONAL Christ-follower(RCF): believer who has a 2-way relationship with the true Christ fostered by prayer & personally engaging in Scripture on a regular basis.
Fruit of NCF and RCF
Study noted the signifcant differences in the self-reported moral behavior of NCF and RCF. In addition, the study also discovered differences in how prepared individuals were to serve God and have an impact the world.
How do you hear from God?
The 4-plussers claim the number one way they hear from God is "through the Bible", while the subset of 3-2x weekly engagers said "feelings" and the 0-1x crowd indicated most often it was through 'people' that they primarily 'hear from God'. The second most frequent response from the 4+ engager about how he/she hears from God was in fact 'feelings' too. However, these respondents, unlike the NCF, linked these "feelings" to the Holy Spirit (most frequently reported) or "a feeling of peace, the presence of God". Begs the question: is person then more likely to hear from God through the Holy Spirit the more he/she is engaged in God's Word?
Impacting the World?
Consistent with the study were these qualities of the RCF: more Bible knowledge, memorized more Bible verses, stated devotion or focus to connect w/God and passion to share their faith with others. Not surprisingly, the NCF tended as either less or fewer in answers to these questions.
Impacted by the World?
Finally, the results of multiple surveys indicated that people who engage Scripture less than four times per week were far more likely to participate in behaviors such pornography, gambling and sex outside of marriage. In today's world where so many struggle with these issues and families are put at risk, the identification with Scriptural Engagement just as a "Protective Factor" then is the critically important, practical tool in the arsenal of a believer.
For the Village Church to fuel the vision of Declare Train Serve Plant, the must have people devoted and engaged with God’s Word regularly, memorizing Sripture sufficiently and demonstrating its impact and influence on their lives. Without this foundation of biblically rooted and scripturally articulate men & women who are devoted to follow Christ, the VC will either miss out on its opportunity to collaborate with the Holy Spirit in its calling and participation in building the Kingdom or it will burn-out the midst of it. Devote yourself to God through attending to His Word on a regular basis.
Be a Four Plusser!
For the Elders,