n a recent survey of 2,500 American Protestants who attend church regularly – at least once a month – Brad Waggoner, vice-president of B&H Publishing Group and author of The Shape of Faith to Come: Spiritual Formation and the Future of Discipleship, found that most Protestant churchgoers are not where they should be in their spiritual formation. Only 17% demonstrated a “decent” level of discipleship or spiritual maturity.

Key areas of Christian discipleship measured:

  • Bible reading (16% read daily, 20% few times a week)
  • Conviction & repentance (23% agreed strongly)
  • Sincere worship during service (25% agree, 47% going through the motions)
  • Evangelism in past 6 months (29% shared twice or more, 14% once, 57% not at all)
  • Significant level of spiritual growth (3.5%)

For this survey, Waggoner defined disciple as being “a learner and a follower of Jesus Christ” and evaluated seven domains of spiritual formation among respondents, including: learning truth, obeying God and denying self, serving God and others, sharing Christ, exercising faith, seeking God, and building relationships.

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