Bible Engagement + Scripture Reflection = Spiritual Growth

I ask you: how are you equipping, encouraging, and empowering your people to engage the Bible and reflect on Scripture’s meaning in their life?

The Reveal study carried out by Willow Creek Community Church almost a decade ago still provide crucial insights for how we are leading our people. THE key factor in spiritual growth is engagement with and reflection upon the Bible.

The authors argue for three major movements as one progresses from unbelief and spiritual immaturity to a life that is centered upon Christ. The KEY spiritual catalyst that appears in all three movements is, you guessed it, Bible engagement and reflection. They write that “‘Reflection on Scripture’ is the number one factor across all three movements.” (41) They proceed, “But that’s only part of the story. When we statistically compare the power of these factors, ‘Reflection on Scripture’ (‘I reflect on the meaning of Scripture in my life’) is much more influential than any other personal spiritual practice.” (41)

I love to teach, most of you know that, but this study was humbling when I first learned these truths. The fact that Bible engagement is the KEY for spiritual growth shows that the primary growth of the individual does not occur during my 40-minute lesson, rather it occurs as the individual reflects on the Scripture in such a way that it impacts their day-to-day experience. To that end, I shifted my mentality so that my goal was not to give them a “point” or “idea” per se, rather I began to equip people with the tools to engage Scripture on their own. My measure of success became their independence from me.

So, I ask you again: how are you equipping, encouraging, and empowering your people to engage the Bible and reflect on Scripture’s meaning in their life?

Here’s some quick helps:

  1. Send them away with 1-2 strong application questions to reflect on each day that they will share with someone from the group by text, call, email, or lunch.
  2. Send them away with a reading plan that intersects with your weekly teaching.
  3. Use the Brentwood Baptist reading plan online or have them download the app: http://brentwoodbaptist.com/journeyon-today/
Greg L. Hawkins and Cally Parkinson, Follow Me: What’s Next for You (Barrington, IL: Willow Creek Association, 2008).

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