I watched a Church leader webinar last week with one of my former college professors named Mark Moore. In the middle of his teaching about how to get the Church to engage the Bible, he stopped and made a statement that I immediately wrote down and want to share with you today. He said, based off his own experience alone and no other research, he has determined that we measure spiritual maturity among believers by four criteria.
- Social Justice
Each of these is relatively self-explanatory but let me say a word or two. Doctrine is about believing a specific set of teachings. This may vary from group to group, yet there is always adherence to that group’s teaching. Second is morality, and that is best understood as living a life without the things we classify as ungodly. This can range from the way we dress to the things we put in our bodies. The third is experience, and that is about our feelings. It is hard to measure because each person’s experience might be different, but the common thread is that our faith produced some encounter we cannot explain without God. Finally, there is social justice, and this is described as caring for any social issue. This can range from fighting poverty to working in political fields for change.
Mr. Moore described these as the four essential measuring tools that every believer and Church uses when it comes to spirituality. Then he said something I find fascinating. He asserted that no believer and no Church focuses on more than two at a time.
If this is true, it explains so much to me and hopefully to you. This explains why each Church does what they think is important. This is why some believers, even in the same Church, can have such different approaches to faith. One person is concerned about social justice mixed with experience, and another is all about doctrine with morality. These two people struggle to get along because they have different tools to measure faith. I think the implications for the Church are limitless.
So, let me ask you today, which two of these do you think are the most prominent measures of faith? Once you have yours firmly established in your mind, start asking other people there two. See where you are alike and where you are different. This might help you to understand your friends, other believers and the Church with which you are connected.
4 thoughts on “How We Measure Spirituality”
My top 2 would be doctrine and morality. You have to know what you believe and that will the inform how you act. I wouldn’t call it a measure, but I believe this would lead to having experiences that can only be explained by God. These two also lend to how you treat others/social justice.
I considered your post more from a personal view than a measure of someone else. Makes more sense.
Yes. My word measure is not the best choice in retrospect. It is not a measure of their faith, but their focus. And yes. This is an individual test of your top priorities. It is also true of church leaderships as a group focus on two of these. Also can be true of denominations.
Traci – be clear. There are those who will disagree with you. Take Martin Luther Jr. What is he known for? Social justice and possibly morality. We don’t know much about his doctrine, yet we still see his faith expressed in a meaningful way. Try applying this concept to how you view other people, see if one or two fit with most of them.