Various studies suggest Christians in North America are not qualitatively different in their character and practices than non-believers. While some churches are growing numerically, many wonder to what impact. Can we determine if our churches are producing Christians who look, think and act like true followers of Jesus Christ?
In "The Shape of Faith to Come," research expert Brad J. Waggoner and his team measure the beliefs and actions of 2,500 active Protestant churchgoers from across the country against seven key standards of Biblical spiritual formation:
- Learning the truth
- Obeying God and denying self
- Sharing faith
- Serving God and others
- Exercising Biblical faith
- Building solid relationships
- Seeking God
The findings reveal the current state and forecast of spiritual formation in the U.S.A. Adding encouragement to his insights, Waggoner calls all Christians to spiritual maturity and challenges church leaders to intentionally take up the mantle of making true disciples.
"Descriptive and prescriptive, this work will be seen as one of the best books ever written on what is really taking place in the discipleship process of Christians."
Thom S. Rainer, coauthor of the #1 best seller "Simple Church"
"The elephant in the room of evangelicalism is the surprising lack of discipled believers in all different kinds of churches. We have produced a cafeteria Christianity rather than a robust orthodoxy and Jesus-shaped spirituality. In this challenging and disturbing book, Brad Waggoner draws on twenty years of research in discipleship and spiritual formation to not just show us who we are, but to point us to what we must do. "The Shape of Faith to Come" will become a milestone as evangelicals begin to take discipleship seriously once again."
Ed Stetzer, coauthor of "Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and Churches that Reach Them"
"This book comes closer than any study with which I'm familiar to providing an insightful and objective evaluation of the spiritual condition of the church in America. Where is the church weak, and where is she strong? Some of the answers indicated by "The Shape of Faith to Come" may surprise you."
Donald S. Whitney, author of "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life"