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February 21, 2013Research

New Research: God Uses Intentionality to Grow Us Spiritually

When Jesus invited disciples to follow Him, it was a call to intentionally seek Him, to know Him, and to live for Him. This involves spending regular time with Him.

Assessing a Christian's spiritual growth without measures of seeking God would be like picking a flight with the right distance without confirming the destination. Spiritual maturity is not an accident; seeking God speaks of intentionality-- the believer who desires to know God in a deeper way and strives toward that goal.

The point of seeking God is not that He is hard to find. Rather He desires we constantly invest in this relationship and seek to follow Him in every area of life. This requires intentionality and ultimate priority in a disciple's life.

That's why as part of our Transformational Discipleship research, we included "Seeking God" as one of the main attributes to measure. The research for this attribute was released today.

From the release:

Christians on the path to spiritual maturity have a habit of seeking God through prayer and worship - not just in church but also as a part of their daily life as a way to please and honor God, according to a survey released by LifeWay Research.

LifeWay Research found 73 percent of Protestant churchgoers set aside time for prayer every day to a few times a week. To examine how churchgoers are seeking God at times beyond worship services, the survey asked participants to "not include any times you do these things as part of a church worship service." Nineteen percent say they set aside time for prayer of any kind between once a week and once a month, and 8 percent of churchgoers say "rarely/never."

Some highlights from the research:

  • Women churchgoers are more likely than men (77% vs. 70%) to set aside time for prayer every day to a few times a week.
  • 78% of churchgoers indicate "one of the main reasons I live my life the way I do is to please and honor God." 6% disagree.
  • Besides prayer, 54% of churchgoers say they set aside time daily to a few times a week for private worship, praise or thanksgiving to God; 30% say they do so between once a week and once a month; 17% indicate they rarely/never set aside time for private worship, praise or thanksgiving to God.
  • Women are more likely than men (58% vs. 49%) to set aside time daily to a few times a week for private worship, praise or thanksgiving to God.
  • 84% percent of female churchgoers and 66% of male churchgoers surveyed indicated a propensity for prayerfulness.

To help pastors, churches and individuals measure spiritual development, LifeWay Research used the study's data to develop a questionnaire for believers, called the Transformational Discipleship Assessment (TDA), an online evaluation that delivers individual and group reports on spiritual maturity using the eight attributes of biblical discipleship. The TDA also provides helpful and practical suggestions for churches and individuals on appropriate next steps for spiritual development.

To learn more about the transformational discipleship research visit LifeWayResearch.com. The TDA is available at TDA.LifeWay.com.

You can read the full release with methodology here.

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New Research: God Uses Intentionality to Grow Us Spiritually