Scripture Union Resources

SU's Bible Programs are Catalyst for Spiritual Growth

A survey of 1500 churches by the Willow Creek Association shows the transformative impact of Bible reading and reflection on churches—and the impact of Scripture Union’s Essential 100 (E100) Bible reading program on their spiritual vitality.

Dissatisfied with the level and rate of spiritual growth among its members, the Willow Creek Association of Churches implemented a “Spiritual Life Survey” among 1,500 churches in 2004. The survey identified churches along a scale from “struggling” to “high energy” with the goal of discovering how best to activate greater spiritual growth in their congregants.

Most Powerful “Catalyst”

The survey revealed that common models of activating spiritual growth such as “getting people involved” in church activities (attending worship, participating in small groups, serving the needy) or sharpening their beliefs (salvation by grace, the authority of the Bible, person of Christ) were helpful but not the most effective vehicles for producing spiritual growth.

The most powerful “catalyst” for moving people through stages of spiritual growth, the survey revealed, was reflection on scripture.

This finding was underscored powerfully more recently. Six of the churches that had been categorized as “struggling” by the survey implemented SU’s Bible reading program, the Essential 100 Challenge to promote reading and reflection on scripture among their people. The programs were kicked off in 2009 and a follow-up survey of these churches was compiled after 18 months in 2011.

God Used the E100

At the end of the eighteen months, the results in these six “struggling” churches was striking. After completing the E100 Challenge, the survey showed that congregants across all stages of their spiritual journey in those churches MORE THAN DOUBLED their daily bible reading.

In addition to the increase in Bible reading and reflection, the number of church members who were “happy with how their church is helping them grow” increased significantly, belief in a personal God increased and dissatisfaction with, and the likelihood of leaving, the church decreased. These churches had new energy and spiritual vitality—and God has used the E100 to help bring that about.

A Spiritual “Shot in the Arm”

If your church needs a spiritual “shot in arm” and a proven “catalyst” for spiritual growth, the E100 Challenge may be what God will use for your people, too. For more information on the E100 Challenge, visit More information on Scripture Union’s publications for daily Bible reading and reflection is available on this website or by calling 1-800-621-LAMP (5267).

Read more about the survey results and the E100 in this downloadable article: Survey Shows the Transformative Impact of Bible Reading & Reflection on Churches.


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