If I could do it all over again, I would make some changes in the way I would serve and do ministry in the local church. Everyone in church leadership or on church staff could easily identify with this idea. Thom Rainer, the president of LifeWay Christian Resources, has some keen insights into changing our ministries and transforming people. Let me share some of his thoughts:
“One of the biggest mistakes I made when I served as pastor of four churches was failing to emphasize the importance of every member being in the Word every day. Brad Waggoner, in his well-researched book, The Shape of Faith to Come, notes that regular Bible reading is one of the highest correlates for spiritual maturity. To state it more succinctly, when members read the Bible every day, they are more likely to demonstrate spiritual growth in a number of areas.
What Happens in a Local Church
The implications of this research are enormous. Those Christians who read their Bibles daily:
• are more likely to give generously to the church.
• are more likely to be active in a small group or Sunday school class.
• are more likely to share their faith more often.
• are more likely to spend greater time in prayer.
• are more likely to attend worship services regularly.
• are more likely to be involved in local ministries and international missions.
Many times I am asked to describe effective approaches to discipleship in the local church. The inquirer is essentially concerned about seeing church members become more devoted followers of Christ, and seeing those members more connected to the life and ministry of the local church. And the missing element to these concerns that I see most frequently is an intentional effort to involve as many members in daily Bible reading as possible. The Word of God is powerful and transformative. Reading and studying the Bible daily may be the most important act a Christian can do to grow as a disciple.”1
Let’s get it right and transform people with the power of God’s word.
Reposted by Dr. R. W. Bobby Martin with permission.