Tommy Sparger has a good blog on “Self-Feeding: Taking personal responsibility for your spiritual growth.” His plan encourages believers to read 1 Psalm, 1 chapter in Proverbs, and 1 chapter in the gospels. He also wants Jesus followers to journal their insights from their reading and pray.
Don’t misunderstand me. Each of these items may help one grow spiritually. I find no fault with these activities or suggest that Sparger is wrong. However, his blog led me to some sacred questioning. In spite of pastors’ yearly challenge to read the entire Bible during the year and to practice a daily quiet time, few Christian take the message to heart. One survey found that only 16% of Christians read the Bible daily. I asked some well educated men over the weekend what they were reading. Few in the group read anything other than work-related documents. I recall a study that said 10% of Christian books are read by men (those are mostly ministers) and the other 90% are read by women. The fact is, men are not readers and many women are not either.
How much time does it take to do Sparger’s plan? Is this realistic? Was this an expectation of the early disciples, since the Bible was not available to the masses? Has this been a spiritual practice handed down through the centuries or is this a fairly recent expectation?
I’m not trying to give Christians an out for reading God’s Word, but out of sacred curiosity I pose the following questions. Have we limited spiritual growth to reading? How do we help a generation get connected to God if they are not readers? What are your reactions or experiences?