How Christians Feel About Their Spiritual Growth Habits

How Christians Feel About Their Spiritual Growth Habits

We surveyed 329 Christians who attend church services at least once per month to quantify their struggles with spiritual growth habits and to understand how they feel about them. Here are the results...

Tags: christian survey, survey, christian survey results




Have you ever felt like you wanted to be praying more?

Have you ever thought it would be nice to spend more time reading the Bible?

Have you ever wondered about the relationship between spiritual growth habits like praying and reading the Bible and actions like tithing and volunteering at church?

You're not alone. We've wondered about the answers to these kinds of questions for a while. That's why we funded research to find the answers.

And what we found is surprising. Take a look...

Summary of Key Findings

Let's start with a summary of the key findings from the research.

  • We fielded the OPJ Christian Walk Survey in two groups during the fall of 2018 for a total of 329 respondents.
  • Key findings in this population of Christians who attend church services at least once per month included:
    • The majority pray 1 to 3 times per day (54.5%), but nearly 30% pray less than once per day (25.5%) or never (3.9%)
    • Approximately 70% read the Bible infrequently – either less than once per day (49.7%) or never (19%)
    • Half (50%) pray less than 7.5 minutes per day and read the Bible less than 5 minutes per day The great majority of respondents feel like they should pray more often (67.7%) and read the Bible (74.8%) more often
    • Although 7.1% reported tithing nothing, others reported tithing between 0% and 2% (28.2%) or 5% and 10% (27.5%)
    • Nearly 30% of respondents are not volunteering at their church in any way
    • Christians who pray more frequently also tend to read the Bible more frequently (R2 = 0.491)
    • Christians who pray and read the Bible more frequently give more in terms of tithing and volunteering

Survey Respondents Overview

The OPJ Christian Walk Survey was fielded in two groups in late 2018. We finished with a total of 329 respondents.

To ensure we got the right responses from our sample, we screened respondents. Although approximately 71% of Americans identify themselves as Christian, only an estimated 23% attend church services regularly. As such, we screened our sample with the following question: "Do you attend Christian church services at least once per month?"

Respondents who answered "Yes" to this question were qualified to take the rest of the survey. Those who answered "No" were not included in the research.

We initially fielded our survey in our own community here at OnlinePrayerJournal. After the initial outreach and two subsequent reminders, we ended up with 102 completed survey responses. In order to increase our sample size, we then fielded the survey through SurveyMonkey's Targeted Audience service.

Here are the details of the sample attrition from both groups:

OnlinePrayerJournal Survey Sample Attrition

Results on Prayer

We found that even Christians who attend church at least once a month pray infrequently. The majority of respondents in our sample pray only one to three times per day, on average (54.5%). Nearly 30% pray less than once per day (25.5%) or never (3.9%).

OnlinePrayerJournal Survey - Percentage of Respondents by Prayer Frequency Category

It is clear that even Christians who attend church at least once a month want to be praying more often. In fact, 67.7% reported they feel like they should pray more often.

OnlinePrayerJournal Survey - Percentage of Respondents by Attitudes on Frequency of Prayer Image

Half of our respondents reported that they pray less than 7.5 minutes per day. One-fourth are praying 4 minutes or less per day and three-fourths are praying 20 minutes or less per day. The average time spent praying each day was 17.0 minutes, but was heavily influenced by a few outliers reporting 456 and 360 minutes of prayer each day.

Bible Reading Results

We found that most Christians who attend church at least once per month read the Bible less than once per day (49.7%) or never (19.0%).

Only 31.3% of Christians who attend church at least once per month are in the Word daily (1 to 3 times per day [28.1%] and more than 3 times per day [3.23%]).

OnlinePrayerJournal Survey - Percentage of Respondents by Bible Reading Frequency Category Image

Similar to our findings with regards to praying, Christians who attend church at least monthly generally feel like they should be reading the Bible more often. In fact, three out of 4 Christians (74.5%) reported they feel this way.

OnlinePrayerJournal Survey - Percentage of Respondents by Attitudes on Frequency of Reading the Bible Image

Fully half of our sample reports that they read the Bible less than 5 minutes per day. The average amount of time spent reading the Bible was 11.7 minutes per day. Nearly 1 in 5 (19.%) do not read the Bible at all. Three-fourths of the respondents read the Bible less than 15 minutes per day.

Church Service Attendance

Remember that we screened respondents and only included those who attend services at least one time per month. It turns out that of those who fit that criteria, nearly half go to church services more than 3 times per month (49.8%). In our sample, at least, it seems that going to church at least once per month means going much more frequently than that.

OnlinePrayerJournal Survey - Percentage of Respondents by Church Attendance Frequency Image

Maybe even more surprising is that nearly half (44.3%) still feel like they should attend more often.

OnlinePrayerJournal Survey - Percentage of Respondents by Attitudes of Frequency of Church Attendance Image

Tithing and Volunteering Results

In addition to prayer and Bible reading habits, we explored commitments to tithing and volunteering at church.

We found that most respondents tithe either between 0% and 2% (28.2%) or between 5% and 10% of their income (27.5%).

OnlinePrayerJournal Survey - Percentage of Respondents by Tithing Category Image

We also explored time spent volunteering for the Church. Nearly 30% of our respondents are not volunteering at all. That being said, for those who do, there are many ways in which they volunteer.

OnlinePrayerJournal Survey - Percentage of Respondents by Time Spent Volunteering at Church Category Image

Here were some of the more common responses:
  • Hospitality
  • Worship/Choir
  • Pantry service / Food bank
  • Cooking/Donating food
  • Sunday school
  • Bible studies
  • Child care
  • Youth leadership
  • Helping with special functions
  • Cleaning/Repairing the church
  • Technical support
  • Small groups
We were very interested in how the spiritual habits of praying, reading the Bible, tithing, and volunteering correlated with each other.

Perhaps not surprisingly, we found that Christians who spend relatively more time praying also spend more time reading the Bible.

OnlinePrayerJournal Survey - Prayer Time and Bible Time Scatterplot Correlation Image

We also found that those Christians who pray and read the Bible most give the most in tithe to their church.

OnlinePrayerJournal Survey - Prayer Time and Bible Time by Tithe Category Box Plot Image

We found a similar relationship in terms of giving of time in volunteering to the church.

OnlinePrayerJournal Survey - Prayer Time and Bible Time by Volunteer Time Category Box Plot Image

Conclusions

Based on the results from the survey, we draw two primary conclusions:
  • Even Christians who attend church services at least once per month struggle to spend enough time praying and reading the Bible
  • Those who pray more and read the Bible more often tend to give more to their church both in terms of tithing and volunteering
Overall, we learned a lot about the spiritual growth habits of the Christians in our survey. If you would like to contribute to further research like this, or apply this kind of research in your own Christian community, contact us.

Inspire your friends, too:

 
 
 
Get It Delivered!

RSS Feed

'LIKE' to get verses delivered  

Daily Short Prayer

"Father, I trust in the hope that only You offer in the midst of such a broken world..."

'LIKE' to get prayers delivered  

How Spiritually FIT Are You?

OPJ Mobile App Coming Soon!

OPJ Mobile App

About Us

Our founders are twins from the midwest looking to help other busy people feel growth in their faith and walk with Jesus. The distractions in our world are overwhelming. They quickly consume are best intentions to pray, spend time in devotion, and read the bible. It's easy to get stuck! That's why we create tools to help you mobilize technology that makes it easy to stay on track in your spiritual growth :) Learn more...

Links, Contact, and Social
Facebook - OnlinePrayerJournal   Twitter - OnlinePrayerJournal
©2019 Kruep Outcomes Research Technology, LLC - All rights reserved