So, I finally have settled on a blog title (for now, unless something better comes along). And no, that is not my philosophy for how to find a potential mate (“…until something better comes along”).

But I digress. Anyways, the “R-O:” stands for “Rip-Off:”. I anticipate that many posts in the future will involve ripping off something I read, heard, or saw from somewhere, so why not make a handy little abbreviation for that?

Anyways, earlier this week, I read about the Reveal survey that Willow Creek (and then several hundred other Churches) did on their congregations, to see whether what they were focussing their time and resources on were actually helping their congregants to grow spiritually in their walk with God. Because, apparently, Willow Creek was always a big proponent of offering lots of programs and classes, and getting as many people involved in them as possible, and that’s what they thought would get people to love God more and love others more, as true disciples of Christ.

Anyways, what they found in their survey of Church-goers was that those things seemed to be helpful for seekers and beginner/not-that-mature Christians, but for growing Christians and “mature” Christians, they were increasingly more dissatisfied with that type of “participation”. Anyways, what they found was that it was more important to teach people to be “self-feeders”, rather than focussing on trying to feed them all the time.

Here’s what Scot McKnight in summary of some of the gist of what the Reveal study “revealed”:

“How do people mature in faith?

1. Reading and studying the Bible
2. Prayer and solitude
3. Sharing one’s life with friends and mentors.
4. Serving others.”

Anyways, I think his post on the Reveal study is a good introduction/viewpoint on it, so you can always read his blog post here.

How does this affect you and me, though? Well, apart from the fact that we’re part of a Church (or should be), this affects how we view growth in our lives and others’ lives, as well. For example, I think Points #1-4 should be a keen focus of our efforts in campus ministry. And keeping in mind that the development of these spiritual disciplines is tied to the idea of teaching each of us to be self-feeders, then I think it’s more important to be showing people HOW to do these things, and letting them practice, versus just teaching them ABOUT these things. Or totally ignoring these items, altogether.

So in my (2nd year) Bible study this semester, I’m going to be focussing on teaching my guys how to better do #1-2, and also letting them practice it before and during the study. Points #3 and 4 are a little harder for me, but I guess we can start #3 by sharing more about our lives and letting each other actually be involved in what’s going on during the rest of our weeks (even if it’s just talking about it).

Random photo (from UBC):

From “Does God Exi…