We recently ran a survey on discipleship in our church. This provides an informative snapshot of how we’re travelling spiritually and areas we can address. Over the next few weeks I’d like to share the findings and some thoughts with you.

Who Responded?

56 people responded to the survey (44% of our church). Encouragingly 30% were under the age of 25, 30% 41-56 (Gen-X), 20% ‘young’ Boomers, and 20% retirement age. 3/4 of respondents said they’re baptised, the same amount that they’ve been coming for three or more years, and nearly all identified BBC as their home church. 

How Do We Describe Our Walk With God?

The first question on spiritual practices asked, ‘Generally speaking, how would you describe your walk with God?’ (You can see the chart below.)

Chart: Spiritual Walk

Almost equal numbers said they’re steady or growing in their walk with God. That’s 80%. This is tremendously encouraging. The remainder were struggling, ‘a bit dry’ and one person said they’re not a Christian yet. Of course, it could be that more people are struggling and didn’t fill in the survey, but we can only go with what we know. 

I want to thank those who were honest enough to complete the survey despite where you’re at spiritually. Even though the survey was anonymous and I have no idea who you are, it’s a brave thing to admit to ourselves when we’re not doing so well.

Although most of us feel like we're doing okay spiritually, I want to dig into the 'struggling' responses a little more.

Not surprisingly, those who were struggling the most are also the most spiritually disengaged, indicating they neither prayed nor read the Bible much if at all, and serving tended to be sporadic or non-existent. On the other hand, most of these people are in a small group and nearly all give regularly to the church.

This tells me that although some of us are struggling in our walk with God, church community is important. Community can be a lifeline when we’re going through a rough patch. It lifts us up when we feel like we can’t stand by ourselves. Sadly, for Christians who struggle spiritually, there is often a sense of shame or inadequacy that keeps us away from community, or of disillusionment which saps our desire for fellowship. There may be difficult issues we’re trying to avoid, mental health struggles, or we could just be going through a busy or dry patch that requires determination to stay engaged.

BBC has a reputation for grace and a welcoming community. A question for us to ponder is how we can harness this strength and make it better so that those who are struggling in their walk with God can not only be supported, but move into a place of growth.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts.