Research on Churchgoers Valuing Time with God & Buying Back Opportunities
Most Protestant churchgoers spend time alone with God at least daily, but there’s a range in what they do in that time and what resources they use. And, thinking about a new year leads Pastor Todd Stiles to look at his calendar. Stiles, a pastor at First Family Church in Ankeny, Iowa, says there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to time management.
Most Protestant churchgoers spend time alone with God at least daily, but there’s a range in what they do in that time and what resources they use.
According to a study by Lifeway Research, nearly 2 in 3 Protestant churchgoers (65 percent) intentionally spend time alone with God at least daily, with 44 percent saying daily and 21 percent saying more than once a day.
Meanwhile, 17 percent of churchgoers say they are alone with God several times a week, and 7 percent say once a week. Others admit to being alone with God…five percent say they get alone with God a few times a month (5 percent), two percent say once a month (2 percent), and three percent less than once a month (3 percent).
The study also asked participants about their prayer life. Specifically, what do they say when they pray.
Around 83 percent of churchgoers say they most often pray in their own words (83 percent), 80 percent thank God (80 percent), 62 percent say they praise God (62 percent) and 49 percent say they confess sins (49 percent).
When it comes to Bible study and devotional life, fewer than 2 in 5 read from the Bible or a devotional (39 percent). Around 20 percent say they repeat a set prayer (20 percent) and 18 percent spend time considering God’s characteristics (18 percent).
The study looked at the resources used by believers when studying. It found that 40 percent of those surveyed aged 18-34 used an app on a phone or tablet to read the Bible and less than 21 percent of them used a devotional book or resource.
“Today’s Christians have more resources than ever to aid them in spending time with God and His Word,” said Scott McConnell from Lifeway.
Those who attend a worship service at least four times a month are more likely than those who attend one to three times a month to say they would read the Bible in their quiet time.
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Thinking about a new year leads Pastor Todd Stiles to look at his calendar. Stiles, a pastor at First Family Church in Ankeny, Iowa, says there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to time management.
In a piece on Baptist Press, he writes, “We are called to something higher and greater when it comes to time—to “make the best use of it” (Ephesians 5:16). In each rendering, the overwhelming sense of the text is that time is an asset, not a liability. It can produce a return if used wisely.
The best investment of our time occurs when we pour it into God’s purposes, the things that are on his agenda and heart. Truly, when our calendars and clocks are aligned with God’s character and callings, we’re not just spending time; we’re buying back time and putting it to its greatest possible use.
As you travel through the rest of this day, think beyond a mere chronological sequence of numbers. Know that what lies before you is a biblical opportunity to gain the greatest eternal return through the wise investment of temporal blocks of time. When we leverage all of our moments, hours, days and weeks to that end, we will be doing more than managing our time. We will be making the most of it.
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