Survey: Spiritual Maturity Comes Through Intentionality
The Story: According to a survey released by LifeWay Research, 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
The Background: LifeWay surveyed 2,930 American adults who attend a Protestant church once a month or more on the discipleship attribute they identify as "Seeking God." This attribute was one of eight attributes of discipleship that LifeWay says consistently shows up in the lives of maturing Christians. Seeking God invokes the intentional steps a Christian takes to follow Christ for the purpose of becoming like 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," said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research. "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."
A demographically balanced online panel was used for the interviewing. Respondents could respond in English, Spanish or French. The sample provides 95 percent confidence that the sampling error does not exceed ±1.81 percent, though margins of error are higher in subgroups.
The Takeaways: Some of the more interesting findings from the survey include:
• Seventy-eight percent of churchgoers indicate "one of the main reasons I live my life the way I do is to please and honor God." Six percent disagree with the statement and 16 percent neither agree nor disagree.
• Besides prayer, 54 percent of churchgoers say they set aside time daily to a few times a week for private worship, praise, or thanksgiving to God. Nearly a third (30 percent) say they do so between once a week and once a month. Seventeen percent indicate they rarely/never set aside time for private worship, praise or thanksgiving to God.
• Women are more likely than men (58 percent vs. 49 percent) to set aside time daily to a few times a week for private worship, praise, or thanksgiving to God.
• Three quarters (75 percent) agree (strongly or somewhat) with the statement: "I find myself praying at the spur of the moment throughout the day." Thirteen percent of churchgoers disagree with the statement. Eighty-four percent of female churchgoers and 66 percent of male churchgoers surveyed agree with the statement.