What Leads to Bible Engagement?
When we talk about research, we look for things that predict—if you do one thing, you're likely to do another. We found eight things that lead to a higher likelihood that people will engage the Bible, which leads to growth in everything else. (Spiritual growth is a cycle—a cycle that leads to maturity!)
1) Confessing sins and wrongdoings to God and asking for forgiveness.
2) Following Jesus Christ for years (i.e., the longer you've been a disciple of Jesus, the more serious your commitment to engaging the Bible).
3) Being willing to obey God, no matter how costly the decision.
4) Praying for spiritual status of unbelievers.
5) Reading a book about increasing your spiritual growth (excluding the Bible).
6) Being discipled or mentored one-on-one by a more spiritually mature Christian.
7) Memorizing Bible verses.
8) Attending small classes or groups for adults focused on Bible study.
Our research shows that as Christians increase their participation in small groups, their Bible engagement scores go up. For example, average Bible engagement scores were as low as 60.6 when there was little or no participation in small groups, and as much as 79.4 when a believer participated in a small group four or more times a month.
No matter how you look at it, Bible engagement is related to spiritual growth. Growing Christians don't just read the Bible; they value and engage it because God is at work in their lives.