"Reveal, Where are You?" by Greg L. Hawkins and Cally Parkinson, 2007, Willow Creek Resources, 67 E. Algonquin Rd, Barrington, IL 60010, willowcreek.com, revealnow.com.
by Dwayne Phillips, January 2009
Instead of asking, "How many?" as in "how many people attended this, participated in that, actively serve here or there, etc." p. 7
Try asking, "Where are you?" as in "are you moving closer to God?" p. 8
Does increased attendance in ministry programs automatically equate to spiritual growth? To be brutally honest: it does not. p. 13It becomes a simple equation: increased attendance = people growing. We're not poor leaders when we think like this; it's just that we don't have any other practical way to measure growth. p. 14
They used a simple structure based on three questions:
...we embarked on what would become a three-year process of study and research... p. 23
We wanted to find evidence of spiritual growth in people, and then figure out what types of activities or circumstances triggered that spiritual growth. An increasing low for God and for other people was our working definition of spiritual growth. p. 29
...we headed into the research with three hypotheses to guide us: p. 31
What we did not find: pp. 32-33
What we did find: six discoveries
The Spirtual Continuum p. 37
The Stalled Segment emerges in the early to middle growing stages of the spiritual continuum. p. 48
The Dissatisfied Segment - the people who are most unhappy with their church - tend to come from the segments that are more Christ-focused. p. 50. The higher the level of engagement, the more likely it is that satisfaction with the church will be lukewarm. p. 51.
But at the heart of their unhappiness may be the fact that neither segment seems to realize that much of the responsibility for the spiritual growth belongs to them. p. 54
...the church being too preoccupied with the early growing years, leaving the spiritual adolescents to find their own way... p. 55
A new vision and strategy p. 64
We want to move people from dependence on the church to a growing interdependent partnership with the church...Our people need to learn to feed themselves through personal spiritual practices that allow them to deepen their relationship with Christ. p. 65
We believe it is essential for us to help everyone answer the question, "What's next for me?"
Three practical next steps you can take pp. 67-68
Here are some questions that could open up healthy dialogues:
Willow Creek has done us a service by performing the research and publishing the results. They could have, however, given their work more legitimacy with a professional report.
This contains useful information. I struggled to read it because of the problems I noted.
The Spiritual Continuum is the foundation for this report. I struggle to understand the continuum. I would appreciate specific examples of what separates one area of the continuum from another.
"Spiritual growth is all about increasing relational closeness to Christ. p. 38" They call this a "discovery." It more seems to be a basic definition than a discovery.
The (funded) researchers conclude on page 59 that what is needed is more (funded) research. Most researchers conclude this, but few ever state it so blatantly. This reduces the affect of their research report as it shows they have a conflict of interest.
One point that the authors do not state explicitly is: do not assume motivation, which is often unseen, when you see someone doing something. This is elementary, but is often lost. As to motivation, different people have different reasons for doing the same thing. For example, a man can help an old lady cross a street out of love for people in general or out of hate for his own mother.
The authors are loose with the English language,
This "book" is a 20-page report that was swollen with the usual techniques (thick paper, wide margins, large print, extra large figures).
This "book" does not have an ISBN. This is an obvious tip off of less-than-professional work.