What1,000 Churches Reveal About Spiritual Growth
Moveis an attractively compiled report of the study. The works in thebook are divided into three sections namely: Spiritual Continuum, Thevarious catalysts and The statistical Index for identifying the bestchurches. The three parts of the book are discussed and summarized asindicated below.
TheSpiritual Continuum, this section focuses on the type and thedifferent kinds of church attendees who go to church on a dailyservice. The kind of church goers is illustrated as below, and abrief explanation is given to each, and they are four types in anumber.
Thefirst church goers include those Exploring Christ. Most exploringChrist is the newly converted into the Christian ways, and they donot follow the scriptures. Most will quit supporting the church aftera period estimate of five years and are not that attached to thechurch or the teachings. Most have their beliefs and cultures thatthey significantly consider before they fully engage in the ‘new’church beliefs.
Thesecond group of church goers are those growing in Christ. This groupcontributes the majority in church attendance which includesthirty-eight percent in every congregation1.They are the most active in church participating in most of thechurch activities. These groups majority are the ones who have fullyexplored Christ and find interest in being committed to the church.This group believes that church leadership is critical in catalyzingthe growth and continuation of this group. Majority comprises of theyouth and young adults.
Thethird group is those Close to Christ. Members of this group have ahigh assurance as Christ followers. They take ownership of theirspiritual growth they will pray on their own and also do Bible studyon their own. They are committed to their personal religiouspractices they love to share their faith and invest their time andeffort in doing so.
Thefourth group is the Christ Centered group. These are the leastcatered for in the congregation they display leadership qualitiesduring the activities in the church. They live a life surrendered toChrist and were keen to serve him both in the church and thecommunity.
Thesecond part of the book discusses that Catalysts that make the churchmembers be able to move from one group to the next in the spiritualcontinuum levels. The incentives involved are classified into fourwhich are listed below.
Spiritual beliefs and attitudes.
Organized church activities
Personal religious practices
Spiritual activities with others.
Thecatalyst helps the church goers to be able to move through the fourstages of the spiritual continuum levels. How the incentives help isexplained as below.
Spiritualbeliefs and attitudes help an individual be able to move from thatstage involved with Exploring Christ to the next level of Growing inChrist2.A person’s spiritual beliefs and attitudes matter in thistransformation for those who stick to their previous beliefs oftenstop following
Organizedchurch activities enhance the first three activities of the mentalcontinuum3.These are shown by the participation of the new members in the churchactivities that vary from ushers to choir members. The more a personis involved in the church activities, the more they become attachedto the church and Christ as a whole. The organization of churchactivities plays a vital role in the movement and growth of the firstthree stages of the spiritual continuum4.Church activities also can include Bible studies and youth groupforums these can facilitate the growth of the church members.
Personalspiritual practices can be seen from those close to Christ. Theseactivities include personal bible studies and praying on their own.These are facilitated by the leadership of the church, which fromtime to time may give the congregation scriptures to read on theirown.
Spiritualactivities with others is a catalyst that facilitates the movement ofa member from the growing in Christ to the close to Christ and alsoto the Christ-centered on the spiritual continuum levels. These are acatalyst in that through people will feel a certain satisfaction andclose relationship to God through helping others and being involvedin church activities.
Thethird part of this book suggests ways in which the church leadershipcould assist in the growth of individuals and the congregation as awhole5.This part also indexes the churches and gives the best churches thatare there. These involve the spiritual vitality index that classifiesthe church into four types.
The apathetic church with SVI<60
Introverted Church with SVI>60
Average church with SVI in the 70s
High energy Church with SVI>85
Thechurch leadership can be involved in the growth of the members bypracticing biblical teaching to the congregation and being prominent.Church leaders can also ensure the ownership of growth to the groupby leading in it. Church leaders can also enrich the community beinginvolved in the serving activities
Thebook in itself is a masterpiece and takes the guess work out of thechurch. The criticism is unfounded in that there is no way that onecan measure how they have or where they are in the spiritual growth.The book has also narrowly defined the spiritual growth in that itdoes not give enough attention to the spiritual, psychological, realelements of growth. The book says that participation in churchactivities barely moved people towards loving God yet later in thebook involvement in church activities is one of the catalysts in thespiritual continuum6.The book in itself is contradicting its research. The book also doesnot explain how one can measure spiritually in itself which cannot beself-assessed in any way there are also no machines or instrumentsfor measuring spirituality.
Thestudy conducted in this book has some truth in it like the people whoare most involved in church activities tend to be more spirituallyconnected to Christ. The Bible study groups in most churches helpindividuals learn more about Christ and tend to be more connected inthat they will publicly share their faith and invest on the same7.The book has made more churches change their mode of addressing thecongregation that has witnessed most churches gaining a tremendousnumber of followers as well as having loyal members. Many churchesnow have youth groups as well as other groups that involve helpingmembers in the church and also outside the church. By doing thisperson will feel more connected to Christ and will grow theirspirituality at the different levels.
Petersen,Mary. (2003). Responsibility for Spiritual Development: What are thechurches doing?. InternationalJournal of Children`s Spirituality.
Hawkins,Greg., & Parkinson, Cally. (2015). Synopsisof “Chapter 13: Embed the Bible in Everyth ing” From MOVE: What1,000 Churches Reveal About Spiritu al Growth.AmericanBible.0rg.Retrieved 27 November 2015, fromhttp://www.americanbible.org/uploads/content/move_chap_13__synopsis.pdf
Frazee,Randy. (2001). Theconnecting church.Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House.
Hawkins,Greg., & Parkinson, Cally. (2012). MOVEf or Church P lanters What Willow Creek and 1,000 Churches RevealAbout Spiritual Growth.GlocalMission.Retrieved 27 November 2015, fromhttp://glocalmission.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Move-for-Church-Planters-.pdf
Asumang,Annang. (2011). Reviewof Hawkins and Parkinson, Move: What 1000 Churches REVEAL aboutSpiritual Growth.Sabinet.co.Retrieved 27 November 2015, fromhttp://reference.sabinet.co.za/webx/access/electronic_journals/conspec/conspec_v14_a7.pdf
1 Asumang, A. (2011). Review of Hawkins and Parkinson, Move: What 1000 Churches REVEAL about Spiritual Growth. Sabinet.co. Retrieved 27 November 2015, from http://reference.sabinet.co.za/webx/access/electronic_journals/conspec/conspec_v14_a7.pdf
2 Hawkins, G., & Parkinson, C. (2015). Synopsis of “Chapter 13: Embed the Bible in Everyth ing” From MOVE: What 1,000 Churches Reveal About Spiritu al Growth. American Bible.0rg. Retrieved 27 November 2015, from http://www.americanbible.org/uploads/content/move_chap_13__synopsis.pdf
3 Hawkins, G., & Parkinson, C. (2015). Synopsis of “Chapter 13: Embed the Bible in Everyth ing” From MOVE: What 1,000 Churches Reveal About Spiritu al Growth. American Bible.0rg. Retrieved 27 November 2015, from http://www.americanbible.org/uploads/content/move_chap_13__synopsis.pdf
4 Hawkins, G., & Parkinson, C. (2012). MOVE f or Church P lanters What Willow Creek and 1,000 Churches Reveal About Spiritual Growth. Glocal Mission. Retrieved 27 November 2015, from http://glocalmission.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Move-for-Church-Planters-.pdf
5 Hawkins, G., & Parkinson, C. (2015). Synopsis of “Chapter 13: Embed the Bible in Everyth ing” From MOVE: What 1,000 Churches Reveal About Spiritu al Growth. American Bible.0rg. Retrieved 27 November 2015, from http://www.americanbible.org/uploads/content/move_chap_13__synopsis.pdf
6 Petersen, M. (2003). Responsibility for Spiritual Development: What are the churches doing?. International Journal of Children`s Spirituality.
7 Frazee, R. (2001). The connecting church. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House.