GenJ Blog

Is SOAP Biblical? (Part 2)

Reading the Bible daily, meditatively, and obediently is one of the most critical means for spiritual growth towards Christlikeness. Why? Because God’s Word is like food that is necessary for our spiritual nourishment and development.

And just as there are diverse and equally valid ways of consuming food, there are also diverse and valid ways of consuming God’s Word.

A restaurant chef consumes food for the purpose of creating the best possible meals. Chefs are akin to Bible teachers who study God’s Word, digging for theological concepts, exploring historical and cultural contexts, analysing grammar, comparing biblical texts throughout the cannon, as well as synergising and presenting biblical truths in an engaging way for their audience.

A restaurant critic consumes food for the purpose of analysing the quality of meals. Critics are similar to Bible study groups or theologically oriented students who investigate the cultural background, mull over each passage,...

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Is SOAP a Valid Way of Reading the Bible? (Part 1)

Disciplers equip believers to read and obey God’s Word daily in order to support their spiritual development.

In a study with 2,500 churchgoers in the USA, Lifeway Research (2019) asserts that “Bible reading was one of the most predictive of spiritual maturity.” Yet, their research indicates that only 32% of Christians (Protestant churchgoers) read their Bible daily (Few Protestant Churchgoers Read the Bible Daily - Lifeway Research).

Does that sound strange to you?

Have you ever wondered why Christians are too busy, or lethargic, or inconsistent in reading God’s Word daily?

Maybe the enemy has deceptively schemed to undermine the commitment of believers to the Word and consequently, their growth towards Christlikeness. Sadly, one of the most disconcerting plots of the enemy often comes from within the ranks of the church. Some teachers, leaders and bloggers have unintentionally dissuaded believers from reading their Bible.

Ambo the Youth Leader

Ambo was...

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Why don't our discipling models produce genuine transformation?

Nowadays, discipleship maybe a buzz word and a puzzling work, all at the same time.

Empirical research paints a bleak picture of our current discipleship approaches in the West. As documented in the Transformational Discipleship book, research amongst born again church-goers in the USA indicates that our discipleship models do not have the slightest resemblance to what is required to produce transformation (Geiger, Kelley & Nation, 2012, p. 12).

Invariably, within our churches, pastors, leaders and disciplers invest a significant amount of time and energy to support members’ spiritual development. We offer biblically-sound sermons, well-coordinated activities and fellowship-oriented Small Groups. We work hard, don’t we?

Yet, why is our hard work isn’t resulting in effective heart transformation?

Why are we struggling with our discipling endeavours?

Maybe we attempt to accomplish the GOAL of discipleship (transformation towards Christlikeness) with a faulty...

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Factors that impact growth in Inner Life

How do we grow spiritually and develop a godly character? 

In an empirical research* with four Victorian churches (Australia), we explored disciples’ growth in the area of Inner Life over the last 12 months.

Growth in Inner Life predicted or impacted Overall Spiritual Growth.  

The data revealed that:

  • Disciples aged 50 years and older self-reported the highest growth in their Inner Life as compared to other age demographics.
  • Disciples aged 18-24 self-reported higher scores of growth in their Inner Life as compared to disciples aged 25-49. 

Age is NOT a factor that associated with growth in the Inner Life.

So, what factors are related to growth in the Inner Life?

Being involved in a Peer Support Group was the factor that related most strongly with growth in the disciples’ Inner Life.

Three out of the four factors that impacted Inner Life were group-oriented: Peer Group, Small Group, Family.

Sharing authentically, respectfully and vulnerably in intimate...

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Catalyst for Spiritual Growth

Want to hear some hot-off-the-press stats on the number one catalyst for spiritual growth?

In an empirical research* with four Victorian churches, disciples rated their perceived level of spiritual growth over the previous 12 months.

The areas of spiritual growth included:

  1. Relationship with God,
  2. Inner Life,
  3. Relationships with Others,
  4. Ministry in the church and,
  5. Outreach.

Total Growth was computed by combining the scores of the four areas.

We explored which area/s predicted or impacted the disciples’ overall spiritual development.

Have a go at guessing which growth area/s had the greatest impact on overall spiritual growth?

The data revealed that growth in the Inner Life had the strongest relationship with overall spiritual growth.

This means growth in the Inner Life either PREDICTED or IMPACTED overall growth…

Is it any wonder that the enemy distracts us by convincing us that we are growing when we know more theology, do more ministry and manage our Christian...

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How do you grow as a Christian?

Do you remember the day you gave your heart to Jesus, or the day you recommitted your life back to Him? That was a good day, right? Our guess is that on that day, you would have received glimpses of His joy, peace and love, and you would have committed to living wholeheartedly for His mission in this world. Way to go!

But then what? But now what? Have you ever asked these questions? Have you ever wondered how to progress to the next level of your spiritual development? Surely more of the SAME SAME forever would grow boring! Worse still, how does more of the SAME even grow and develop us?

We have some thoughts on this...If you want to develop and grow spiritually - and you can - then keep reading.

The parable of the Growing Seed in Mark 4:26-29 (give it a read) gives us profound principles on spiritual growth. Understanding these principles has the power to unleash you. Here we go...

In likening the Kingdom of God to a seed, Jesus articulated our potentiality (Mark 4:26)....

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GenJ Book Offering a New Discipleship Framework

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06 The Discipleship Cross- A tool for spiritual development


We pray that you have enjoyed this mini 6 video series.

These videos unpacked The Discipleship Cross which as you will know by now, is a tool to help you become more like Jesus, holistically.

The ultimate call for all believers is to “Follow Me” - that's what Jesus said, right? Have you ever considered that “Follow Me” is essentially Jesus' invitation to,  “Be like Me”?

We encourage you to get your teeth into The Discipleship Cross and then set goals in each of its 4 areas. By doing so you will ensure that you don’t just develop your Jesus-likeness in the areas you are most comfortable with, or most passionate about, but that you develop in every area of life, in a way that allows you to be like Him.

Be blessed!

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05 How do I develop in my influence in the world?

By now you will know that The Discipleship Cross is a framework or a tool that takes the guess work out of what Jesus-likeness looks like. By developing in each of the 4 parts of The Discipleship Cross, we consequently develop spiritually and become more like Jesus.
The last part of The Discipleship Cross focuses on developing our Influence in the World. We are salt and light. Our influence comes from putting our love into action. We are called to love our fallen world just like Jesus did. Influencing our world looks like witnessing to the lost, discipling believers and multiplying disciples.
Q: How are you being like Jesus and Influencing your World? You can do this by caring for those God places on your heart, praying for them and then responding to the Holy Spirit’s prompts towards them.
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04 How do I develop in my relationship with believers?

By now you will know that The Discipleship Cross is a framework or a tool that takes the guess work out of what Jesus-likeness looks like. By developing in each of the 4 parts of The Discipleship Cross, we consequently develop spiritually and become more like Jesus.
The third part of The Discipleship Cross focuses on developing our Relationship with Believers.
We are created for, and called to a life of loving relationships with other Believers. Loving other Believers and seeing them as members of the body of Christ is a definite feature of the Christian brand. John 13:34-35 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jesus had His 12 disciples but He also had His inner circle of 3. He modelled intimate relationships of support and challenge. We are not simply called to love the wider body of Christ and to engage in...
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