Jesus set the standard for showing us how to trust and follow God. The Bible shows Him doing these 7 practices:
We wanted to see if these seven practices still work when it comes to growing people’s faith today. So back in March 2022, we asked the people who came to service across all of Crossroads sites that weekend to complete a survey at the beginning of service. The survey asked about people’s beliefs about God and Jesus and their willingness to trust Him with different aspects of their life. It also asked about people’s engagement in the seven practices.
What we found is that there is a very strong relationship between the total number of practices that a person is engaged in and how strongly they believe and trust in God when it comes to their time, their money, their relationships, their life (r=0.61, p<0.001 for you nerdy folks out there who like statistics). In other words, the more practices that people were engaged in, the stronger their faith and trust in God.
All 7 practices were found to be important. Each one was independently associated with stronger faith in God. For example, people who were volunteering rated their belief and trust in God as stronger, on average, than people who were not volunteering. The same was true for those who were baptized, those who were spending time with God regularly, those who had shared their faith story with others, those who were in small group with others, and those who were giving to church regularly. Their faith was, on average, stronger than people not doing these practices.
You may ask, which one comes first? Does doing the practices lead to stronger faith? Or does stronger faith make it more likely someone will do these practices? We think they build on each other. Like Jesus showed, doing these practices helps to establish a rhythm of spending time with God and gives us opportunities to hear from God and show Him that we trust Him. If they worked for Jesus, then they should work for us too. These practices have stood the test of time and continue to be trusted ways to grow our faith in God today.
But remember, the seven practices aren’t about doing more “works” to earn God’s love. God already loves us. His grace is already freely available to us. And God is for us, no matter where we are in our journey.