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Survey reveals that church activity IS NOT a blueprint for spiritual growth

The leaders of St. Philip's Episcopal Church were surprised—and disappointed—by their initial REVEAL results. After all, their 10-year old church plant in Frisco, Texas, was growing rapidly. And the church's young, professional congregation was dynamic, highly relational, and very involved in serving both the local community and worldwide missions.

Senior Pastor Clay Lein recalls the sequence of his own reactions to the January 2009 survey feedback, including a Spiritual Vitality Index of 57 (in the lower half of all surveyed churches.) He questioned how—with all the church's growth and good work—this could be true. He then wondered whether his congregation might be typical of most Episcopalians. "But almost as quickly as having those thoughts," Clay says, "I felt really convicted by the Holy Spirit to say, 'Really? That's the best you can do?'"

A few weeks later, aboard a plane, Clay purposefully dug into the package of REVEAL results and their implications. He read and took notes throughout the flight, coming to some specific conclusions as the plane taxied in—including the opportunity provided by the church's large number of seekers.

This in-flight examination was followed by both prayer and interaction with fellow church leaders, as well as input from congregation members experienced in areas from HR to analysis. Their recommendations led Clay and his team to specific changes that would best leverage St. Philip's strengths and most effectively address its needs.

While their spiritual growth index of 67 on a subsequent (Jan. 2011) survey reflects a positive trajectory, it's the changes put in place and the congregation's enthusiastic buy-in that are creating real excitement—both within St. Philip's and in the wider REVEAL community.

Pastor Lein will share the church's transformation story at the REVEAL – North Texas conference on October 25, 2012.

SUMMARY— The REVEAL-North Texas seminar for pastors, church leaders and business administrators helps churches of all sizes and denominations measure and evaluate what makes a positive difference in a congregation's spiritual growth. Coming to Dallas, TX on October 25, 2012, pastors, executive pastors and church administrators can sign up online to attend the one-day event.

DALLAS, Texas, August 15, 2012 – The REVEAL seminar is the result of an extensive study of churches of all sizes, budgets, and denominations across the country to discover what makes a difference in the spiritual lives of congregants. The answer is not programs and activities. But the seminar will teach church leaders how to measure if their ministry is making a difference. Church pastors, executive pastors and administrators will be able to evaluate the things they're already doing and take away fresh ideas about how to create new spiritual energy in their church.

Speakers for the one-day event are Greg Hawkins and Cally Parkinson, co-authors of the book MOVE: What 1,000 Churches REVEAL About Spiritual Growth. According to executive pastor, Greg Hawkins, "We truly believe that God revealed new insights to us about the people of our church and how our church can help them grow closer to Christ. Our prayer is that other churches will join with each other so that we all can keep building on these insights."

The highly-interactive REVEAL seminar gives churches:

  • Five leadership practices common to the most successful churches and faith-based organizations.
  • The most effective practices that help grow membership and discipleship.
  • Details of high-impact catalysts that promote spiritual growth which lead to life-long members.
  • Solutions for overcoming barriers of those who are spiritually stalled to enhance participation and long-term church attendance.

Watch a video on the REVEAL North Texas Web site about what churches are learning from the REVEAL study.

REVEAL North Texas is sponsored by Salmon Sims Thomas Accountants and Consultants, Frost Bank Investments and Insurance, Service Realty and Asiatico & Associates PLLC. All of the sponsors have relationships with churches and ministries. Becoming aware of the impact of the REVEAL survey and the book, MOVE, the sponsors want to share the value of the information with churches and ministries in North Texas.