Thursday, October 11, 2007
The research from Willow Creek Church in the book by Greg Hawkins and Cally Parkinson is shocking to many church leaders. In my last post I put up a chart showing the spiritual growth was not related directly to church attendance. The chart on the right shows the assumptions of the authors prior to doing their surveys.
I hope all my readers will order the book from Willow and read it carefully. I think they have hit upon a very important insight. Many Christians, including seminary professors and pastors, share the faulty assumptions as indicated on this chart.
Hawkins and Parkinson say: "If increasing participation in church activities (such as attendance at services and participation in small groups) drives spiritual growth, we would see a direct linear correlation (shown above) between low-medium-high levels of participation and low-medium-high levels of spiritual growth."
But, as the chart on the previous chart shows, there is no such correlation. Attendance alone does not seem to lead to additional spiritual growth. (I think that is especially true for Seasoned Believers who have been involved in Christian activities for several decades.)