It was a good bus trip yesterday. I am actually blogging on the bus this morning. That’s right, Clif Guy, IT extraordinaire set us up with a rolling hotspot. Sweet! You can check out some pictures from yesterday on my Flickr stream.
We stopped at the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Truck Stop” in Iowa for lunch and ended up at our hotel in Barrington, IL around 4:30 or so. We were able to unpack and then back on the bus for dinner, conversation and a brief tour at Willow Creek. Our team split up into about 5 groups with a member of their staff for a time of question and answers. I was on the team that met learned about an area that they call Guest Central – which is a place before or after the worship service for people to connect. At Resurrection it would be like our prayer chapel, pastors in the narthex and Connection Point all in one. It is a place for people who are looking for:
- some sort of response to questions of faith or a response to the service.
- care for some sort of crisis or personal issue.
- next steps in their journey of faith.
Good stuff. We all met back together in the green room which is a creative space for worship planning and a place to rest for those who are leading worship. We had another time of question and answers with our whole team and those who were with us from Willow. Adam Hamilton and Bill Hybels were meeting in the next room over and then we had about 30 minutes questions and answers with Bill.
Willow has currently been working with and responding to the results of the Reveal study which was initially a survey of the spiritual growth of their congregation that has expanded into a larger conversation with other congregations. One of the key findings is that increased activities at church do not correlate with increased spiritual growth. Also, as an individual matures in their faith, the church becomes less important in their continued spiritual growth.
The personal spiritual disciplines are a very important part of what helps someone continue to grow in their faith as they are becoming a deeply committed Christian. This would seem to make sense, but does raise a question about the level of activities and programs that we have at Resurrection and also the time and energy placed in programs in other congregations of which I have been a part. How do we effectively equip people to take control of their spiritual growth? Does the church create a dependency upon itself for spiritual growth of members of the congregation?