Teleios recently performed a study evaluating church members’ ratings of their church and its leadership associated with their personal assessment of wellbeing. We performed this study to assist Dr. D. Scott Barfoot, faculty at Dallas Theological Seminary, with his leadership studies. Full results here.
The survey was conducted online with 115 volunteers from 6 evangelical churches in Oklahoma, Texas and California. Participants were mostly evangelical (97%) and agreed they had good wellbeing (88%). Similar findings were shown in surrogate markers of wellbeing including: contentment, peace, joy and purpose. However, there was no control group in our study, so it is difficult based on our data to make firm conclusions regarding evangelical wellbeing compared to other population groups.
Nonetheless, other authors have demonstrated that Christian belief generally is associated with good wellbeing more than in those who do not believe (1,2). The better wellbeing among Christians is most often linked to church attendance, postulated to be from socialization (2-6). Additionally, in prior studies a number of other wellbeing markers have been noted including: forgiveness, gratitude, hope and kindness (7-12).
Teleios also has found that Christians who are more adherent to their faith, using what we describe as the five tools of maturity (Acts 2:42-47; praise, prayer, fellowship, spiritual service and biblical learning) have better wellbeing than less adherent believers (1,2). This was shown again in this survey, specifically for biblical fellowship (P=0.013), but also showing strong trends, despite the relatively small sample size of the study, for prayer (P=0.046), praise (P=0.038) and studying the Bible (P=0.071).
Why would the 5 tools to maturity help wellbeing?
We believe it may result from the satisfaction and comfort of the Holy Spirit as we pursue God (Romans 8:16). Further, we know God’s Spirit matures us to think in a biblical manner that helps us exclude negative thoughts and actions (i.e., sin) from our lives (Romans 8:13).
In addition, the Spirit, as we allow (Ephesians 4:29), leads us and acts on our behalf according to God’s Word (Romans 8:14; Romans 6:17). The joy and freedom which come from God, help us to be excellent in all our ways, both in pursuit of God and also in our endeavors for family and professional life (Galatians 5:22; Colossians 3:16-17; Romans 8:21).
We truly have a remarkable God who provides wisdom not only for salvation but for our personal lives!
Thank you so much for joining me. Join us again next week as we continue to discuss the results of this interesting study.
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