Want to make spiritual progress? Invest regularly in Sunday School or small groups. Consider these reasons:
- STUDY. One of the best predictors of spiritual progress is daily intake of God’s Word. “God’s Word is truth, so it should come as no surprise that reading and studying the Bible are still the activities that have the most impact on growth in this attribute of spiritual maturity,” Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Research said. Classes and groups regularly support and practice reading, examination, and reflection.
- PRAYER. 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, according to a survey released by LifeWay Research. Classes and groups regularly learn and practice prayer.
- OBEDIENCE. When Christians have cheerleaders, they are more likely to live out the truth of God’s Word. “Many people think of obeying God as something they must do on their own,” Scott McConnell of LifeWay Research noted. “However, it’s clear through the research findings that the teaching, encouragement and accountability … have a direct impact on obedience.” Classes and groups apply God’s Word through encouraging obedience and accountability.
- SALVATION. Andy Anderson’s research showed that one out of three lost people in Sunday School for a year came to know Jesus. Pastors recently shared that the number for their church is one out of one or two. The first step of spiritual progress is salvation. But another step is extending His love through personal witness and involvement in Sunday School or small group.
- CONNECTION. An ember pulled out of the fire goes out. Christians likewise experience difficulty in keeping the flame of personal spiritual growth hot on their own. Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, discovered that only 16% of new church members not involved in Sunday School were still involved in the church five years later. On the other hand, 83% of new members involved in Sunday School were still involved in church five years later. Spiritual progress is encouraged through relational connections provided in Sunday School and small groups.
All five are strengthened and practiced in Sunday School and small groups. Invest in spiritual growth by joining a group this week. If you are already in a group, invite someone to join you this week. The more you invest, the more you will grow. Become more like Jesus!