George Barna, in his newest book, Maximum Faith, maps the ten stops along the path toward wholeness:
1. Ignorance of the concept or existence of sin. 1%
2. Aware of and indifferent to sin. 16%
3. Concerned about the implications of personal sin. 39%
4. Confess sins and ask Jesus Christ to be their Savior. 9%
5. Commitment to faith activities. 24%
6. Experience a prolonged period of spiritual discontent. 6%
7. Experiencing personal brokenness. 3%
8. Choosing to surrender and submit fully to God: radical dependence. 1%
9. Enjoying a profound intimacy with and love for God. 0.5%
10. Experiencing a profound compassion and love for humanity. 0.5%
What do you think of this schematic display of spiritual progress? Anything to add? subtract?
Barna thinks most are in a “mindless mutiny” and in a “hopeless meandering.” And he thinks many, many stop on the path. He sees five paths:
1. Moving sequentially: some go from 1 to 10. Others try other methods.
2. Settling for religiosity: some get to stop #6 and choose to settle for #5.
3. Exploiting cheap grace: they get to #6 and revert back to #2.
4. Becoming angry with God: they go through #6 but when they get to #7 they become angry with a God who would subject them to such a process of testing, and they often return as well to #2.
5. Traveling the biblical path: they leap from #3 to #7 and move onwards.