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Are America's Churches Helping People Grow? The New Landmark MOVE Study Delivers Groundbreaking Insights and Results from 1,000 Diverse Churches Applying the Proven Willow Creek REVEAL Spiritual Life Survey

Contact: Lynne Marian, 760-214-5823

MEDIA ADVISORY, Aug. 25, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- How do you measure the effectiveness of a church? Budget? Attendance? Or do metrics exist that not only measure the spiritual health of a church, but also help a church create deeper levels of discipleship, satisfaction and ministry?

The new book MOVE by Greg L. Hawkins and Cally Parkinson reports the findings from a comprehensive spiritual life survey administered to more than 280,000 people in more than 1,200+ churches across ever size, denomination, region, ethnicity and demographic in the country. This milestone study provides fresh insights into the real state of church-based ministry in America, demonstrating that effective discipleship can be both measured and predicted.

In 2004 Willow Creek Community Church, arguably one of the most influential churches in America, took a step back to ask a difficult question: "Are we making a difference?" The result was a four-year process and a spiritual life survey, with findings that forever transformed the way they approached ministry.

"What [we] discovered challenged some of our core assumptions about our effectiveness as a church," said Willow Creek Pastor Bill Hybels.

The dramatic impact of the original REVEAL study led the authors to launch new research to study spiritual life at more than 1,000 churches.

The MOVE study provides leaders with insights to evaluate their programs and help attendees achieve spiritual growth. These findings include:

  • The Spiritual Continuum -- Identification of four phases of spiritual development.
  • Catalysts for Growth -- Determination of critical factors that move people forward along the Spiritual Continuum.
  • The Spiritual Vitality Index -- Clear and measurable factors that help a church be more effective.
  • Best Practices for Church Leaders -- Key findings from the top 5% of the most effective churches in the study.

In addition, the study reveals eight startling insights that the authors urge church leaders to read and heed.

  1. It is possible to measure spiritual growth.
  2. Church activities do not predict or drive long-term spiritual growth.
  3. Many apathetic nonbelievers who attend church are unlikely to ever accept Christ.
  4. Even the most devoted Christians fall short of living out the mandates of Christ.
  5. Nothing has a greater impact on spiritual growth than reflection on Scripture.
  6. Spiritually stalled or dissatisfied people account for one in four church congregants.
  7. There is no "killer app" for spiritual growth.
  8. Leadership matters.

MOVE releases in August 2011. For more information visit Zondervan.com/move.