Skip to main content

Econometrics of Prayer

Sam O'Neal in his book Field Guide for Small Group Leaders reports an interesting statistical study by Jim Egli and Dwight Marable on the impact of prayer on small group performance.

The econometric study was based on a comprehensive survey of three thousand small group leaders in over two hundred churches across the United States. It contained hundreds of questions that probed into every detail of a person's role as a small group leader. It covered group dynamics, leader behaviour during the group meetings, leader preparation before group meetings, leader qualifications (such as having a Bible degree) and more general variables (e.g. gender, socio-economic variables). O’Neal summaries the results of the econometrics study :
"...The leaders whose answers revealed a strong relationship with God had groups that were healthier and faster growing. These groups experienced a deeper level of care between members, had a clearer sense of mission beyond their group, and produced more leaders and new. In other words, small group leaders with a strong prayer life were more likely to witness Spirit-driven growth not only in their own lives, but in the lives of their group members as well. In addition, group leaders demonstrating strong prayer lives witnessed greater evangelistic impact within their groups. Much greater, in fact. According to the research, 83 percent of leaders with a strong prayer life reported that at least one person had come to Jesus through the influence of their group, while only 19 percent of leaders with a weak prayer life could say the same…”
I have to admit that I was a little surprised by the results! One would need to look clearly at how the econometrics was done and how it accounted for some of the “endogeneity” issues, but it is a strong encouragement that God indeed does answer prayer. And not only that it appears that success in any ministry depends on how much we are in touch with him!

As an aside, I was also very encouraged to see that Egli and Marable undertook this study. According to O’Neal, Egli has a “Ph.D in statistical analysis”. Statistics or econometrics is created by God and therefore God’s children who are gifted in that area should try and use it to serve God’s kingdom. Many churches are very poor at using mathematical disciplines for God’s purposes. There’s a natural aversion to data because we think God does not want us to count. But God created numbers and instead of shunning metrics or statistics we should be asking how we can use these areas for God’s glory. 

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jesus Never Fails

Many a times in my life, the words of this childhood hymn has been a tremendous encouragement. I pray this may encourage you too. Keep looking to Jesus! Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your mother will let you down Your father will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your husband will let you down Your wife will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your brothers will let you down Your sisters-will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your church will let you down Your work will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your friends will let you down Your country will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your wealth will let you down Your health will let you down The man of the world

Competing Spectacles, A Review

Over the last few weeks the country has been transfixed on the amazing run of the England football team in Euro 2020. I was initially put off watching the football after I saw the team shamefully bowing to BLM at the start of each game. But as the excitement has grown in the country, I have found myself irresistibly pulled to watch a few games in the tournament. The collective national gaze over England’s Euro 2020 is an example of what Tony  Reinke, the author of Competing Spectacles , calls a spectacle.   A spectacle is something visible that captures our collective attention. It is that moment when society’s eyes and brains focus on something projected at us. This may be a big political story, a sports event, a new film or a badly behaved influencer. We primarily experience spectacles through technologies we use. I have been experiencing the spectacle of Euro 2020 through our television, but others have consumed it on the mobile or in person.  Most spectacles are consumed through ha

An Empty Page

I am nothing without you I am not ashamed to say But sometimes still I doubt you along my way I am nothing without you An eagle with no wings If I forget about you, I lose everything My heart is an empty stage O let your play begin My life is an empty page for you to colour me with your love It’s such a common feeling to be misunderstood But from you there’s no concealing You know my bad and good So I am not pretending my story never fails But I have already read the ending And your love prevails My heart is an empty stage Let your play begin My life is an empty page for you to colour me with your love The words are from Jonathan Veira’s song Empty Page. One of the tracks off ‘ Rhythms of the Heart’ album. I like his music, and especially this song. Sadly, I couldn’t find the lyrics online, so I had to write them down word for word. I have had this song for many years and it has always spoken me at many lev