One Finding That Changed An Entire Ministry
Our research began with a key question from our former President & Bible Teacher Woodrow Kroll:
Why do so many people own Bibles, but so few read them?
That’s a great place to start. Behind that question lay bigger, even more important questions:
What happens when you do engage with the Bible? What happens when you don’t?
So we set out to survey people about their spiritual lives. In the intervening years we’ve surveyed over 400,000 people across 20+ countries, from all different faiths and walks of life. These individuals have given us a never-seen-before look into how their faith is lived day-to-day, sharing about prayer, sacred texts, their beliefs, their temptations, their struggles, and their triumphs.
These data led to a collection of interesting findings, many of which have ministry implications. Yet when we talk about our research, people most often want to hear about the one breakthrough finding that completely changed our ministry: the Power of 4.
Stated simply the Power of 4 means:
The life of someone who engages scripture 4 or more times a week looks radically different from the life of someone who does not. In fact, the lives of Christians who do not engage the Bible most days of the week are statistically the same as the lives of non-Christians.
That’s a pretty bold statement, especially for someone who has spent most of her life in academia. Let me give you some specifics about the Power of 4 effect. Controlling for differences in gender, age, church attendance, prayer habits, small group participation, and most other factors you would think would matter, someone who engages the Bible four or more days a week is…
· 228% times more likely to share their faith with others
· 231% times more likely to be discipling someone else
· 60% times less likely to feel spiritually stagnant
· 59% times less likely to view pornography
· 30% times less likely to struggle with loneliness
· 31% times less likely to struggle with forgiving others
· 416% times more likely to give financially to their church
· 218% times more likely to give financially to causes other than their church
How did this finding change our ministry? Very simply it gave us one clear goal to focus on.
All of our ministry efforts are directed at helping people to engage God’s Word for themselves daily. As they engage, they are more able to resist any darkness in their lives and to move towards the light of Jesus.
The Power of 4 is at the heart of our 2020 Bible Engagement Campaign “Resist the Darkness, Engage the Light.” We’ve already started with our daily engagement platform, goTandem, and our podcast. We hope you will join us on this journey!