Home Voices Biblical Literacy by the Numbers, Part 2: Scripture Engagement

Biblical Literacy by the Numbers, Part 2: Scripture Engagement

Biblical Literacy Cannot Exist Without Regular Scripture Engagement.

Those who read the Bible often are more likely to agree with the following:

While interacting with others on a normal, daily basis, I seek opportunities to speak out about Jesus Christ (55% v 19%)

I am intentionally putting my spiritual gift(s) to use serving God and others (74% v 40%)

I intentionally try to serve people outside my church who have tangible needs (69% v 51%)

And less likely to agree with the following:

I am hesitant to let others know that I am a Christian (7% v 10%)

I sometimes doubt that God can change the lives of non-Christians I know (9% v 12%)

Many people who know me are not aware I am a Christian (10% v 19%)

Those who read the Bible often are more likely to agree with the following statements:

I feel comfortable that I can share my belief in Christ to someone else effectively (84% v 64%)

I feel overwhelmed by the need to share my personal experience with Jesus Christ with non-Christians” (41% v 17%)

I am open to helping anyone God wants me to help (95% v 83%)

In the past 6 months, they are more likely to have done each of these at least once:

Shared with someone how to become a Christian (56% v 20%)

Invited an unchurched person to attend a church service or some other program at their church (64% v 37%)

These findings came from Lifeway Research’s Transformational Discipleship research. 

Bible Engagement Goes up, Church Functions in Community.

Pastors know intuitively that there is a connection between Bible Engagement and church participation. Our research bears that out. People who lack Bible Engagement tend to be terrible church members.

Here is a comparison of people who read the Bible more than once a week (45% of those surveyed) and those who read the Bible less than once a week (41% of those surveyed).

Churchgoers who read the Bible more than once a week are more likely than those who read less than once a week to:

Currently have regular responsibilities at their church (for example, greeter, teacher, musician, etc.) (53% v 31%)

Those who read the Bible often are more likely to agree with the following:

It is necessary for a Christian’s spiritual well being to give time on a regular basis to some specific ministry within his/her church (74% v 53%)

I intentionally make time in my schedule to fellowship and interact with other believers (72% v 36%)

I intentionally spend time with other believers in order to help them grow in their faith (60% v 22%)

And less likely to agree with the following:

I hesitate to share with Christian friends about my own doubts and spiritual struggles (26% v 38%)

Spiritual matters do not tend to come up as a normal part of my daily conversations with other Christians (17% v 43%)

Those who read the Bible often are more likely to agree with the following statement:

I believe one of the best ways to get to know others in the church is to serve with them (92% v 82%)

Those who read the Bible more than once a week are also more likely to engage in these behaviors more than once a week:

Pray for fellow Christians I know (87% v 45%)

Pray in a group with other Christians (33% v 7%)

This series is adapted from an article I wrote for Charisma magazine.

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Ed Stetzer, Ph.D., is a professor and dean at Wheaton College where he also serves as Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, has earned two master’s degrees and two doctorates, and has written hundreds of articles and a dozen books. He is Regional Director for Lausanne North America, is the editor-in-chief of Outreach Magazine, and leads the Stetzer ChurchLeaders podcast. Ed is frequently cited in, interviewed by, and writes for news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is the Founding Editor of The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than 1.7 million individuals each week for bible story. His national radio show, Ed Stetzer Live, airs Saturdays on Moody Radio and affiliates. He serves as interim teaching pastor of Calvary Church in New York City and serves as teaching pastor at Highpoint Church.