I just read some sobering statistics...albeit not surprising. Try these on for size:
1. Only one in five people who call themselves, "born again" have any measurable goals for spiritual growth.
2. Most of our spiritual growth comes within the first two years after conversion.
3. Six out of ten believers have no sense of what they want to achieve or become.
4. Only 44% of professed Christians read the bible at least 1X a week.
5. Though roughly 5% of people say they tithe, statistics show less than 2% really do? Does that make the other 3% liars too?
How does that make you feel? Guilty? Sad? Embarrassed? The reality is, in many, if not most churches, people are not growing up in their faith in any measurable way.
Make no mistake, good, church-going people are in our churches every week. They worship, lead a small group, fix a meal, give their offering, and live life as a "normal Christian." Most don't abuse their spouses, cheat on their taxes, steal, or live a life full of blatant sin. They often contribute good things to society. They really are nice people. But many, maybe most, are not growing stronger, deeper, more faithful in their life.
Ask someone (even yourself), "Looking back over the last year, what measurable spiritual growth are you able to point to in your life?" As Steve DeNeff and David Drury say in their new resource, SoulShift, we are often guilty of measuring input as a measure of what kind of Christian we are. We input worship, we input bible reading, we input service, and think that is a good measure of our faith. Instead, they say, we should focus more on output. What in my life has been transformed because of my commitment to the Savior?
Make no mistake, I am a work in progress. And I hope you are too. I pray you never get to that, "I've arrived" place in your faith. Wouldn't it be wild and wonderful to do what Steve and David ask? That is, "Wake up every morning, and your first instinct was to do what is right."
So, what's preventing you from growing up?