If you’re going to revitalize a church, a top priority is growing spiritual mature leaders.
The question is: What causes people to grow in their faith?
A survey of more than 1,000 churches asked and answered that question, and the results may surprise you. In the book Move: What 1,000 Churches Reveal About Spiritual Growth, Greg L. Hawkins and Cally Parkinson say:
“Nothing has a greater impact on spiritual growth than reflection on Scripture. If churches could do only one thing to help people at all levels of spiritual maturity grow in their relationship with Christ, their choice is clear. They would inspire, encourage, and equip their people to read the Bible.”
They found there was only one practice that helped people of any maturity level grow in their faith — daily reflection on Scripture. Nothing else came close!
Reality Check: Are you helping your congregation read and reflect on the Bible daily?
Here are seven easy ideas to help you get started.
Seven Ideas to Get People Reading the Bible Daily
- Demystify Bible Reading. We sometimes forget that the Bible is an intimidating, confusing book for many people.
- In my sermons, I subtly demonstrate how to read Scripture correctly as I teach. It’s like an undercover hermeneutics class people don’t realize they’re taking!
- Create a Podcast. Busy people love to multitask, and who isn’t busy these days? Maybe that’s why podcasts have exploded in popularity.
- My church hosts a podcast with Buzzsprout, a website that makes the process incredibly simple. Typically, we go deeper into the sermon text and answer questions people have submitted.
- Write a Blog. Most church websites have the option for a blog, and they’re very user-friendly.
- Your blog is a great place to keep the conversation going during the week. Consider asking staff or key lay leaders to post about how they’re applying the sermon series in their lives.
- Post on Social Media. Whether you love or hate Facebook and Instagram, you can’t deny they are an easy way to reach a lot of people.
- The key to success is interactivity and engagement, so make sure to post questions and interact with people as they answer.
- Email. Some people thought social media would kill email but look who’s still reading email — you!
- If you provide something that’s truly helpful to people, they will open your emails. What could be more helpful than devotional material delivered right to their inbox!
- Create Print Materials. In a digital world, physical paper still has weight.
- Could you create a study guide with additional Scriptures to read and questions for discussion?
- Could you design a bookmark to help the whole church read certain Scriptures daily?
- Discipleship Groups. Whether in large groups, small groups, or in one-on-one mentoring relationships, can you equip people to make Scripture reading central?
- All of the previous strategies work well with groups!
- Your group leaders would love print materials, emails, or social media posts to help them lead well.