Factors that impact growth in Inner Life



Feb 13


Peter Botross

How do we grow spiritually and develop a godly character?

In an empirical research* with four Victorian churches (Australia), we explored disciples’ growth in the area of Inner Life over the last 12 months.

Growth in Inner Life predicted or impacted Overall Spiritual Growth.

The data revealed that:

  • Disciples aged 50 years and older self-reported the highest growth in their Inner Life as compared to other age demographics.
  • Disciples aged 18-24 self-reported higher scores of growth in their Inner Life as compared to disciples aged 25-49.

Age is NOT a factor that associated with growth in the Inner Life.

So, what factors are related to growth in the Inner Life?

Being involved in a Peer Support Group was the factor that related most strongly with growth in the disciples’ Inner Life.

Three out of the four factors that impacted Inner Life were group-oriented: Peer Group, Small Group, Family.

Sharing authentically, respectfully and vulnerably in intimate discipling environments impact growth in our Inner Life; our character. Is it any wonder that the Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to: “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, ALONG with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22)?

How do you help the people you disciple to grow in their inner life/character?

*(Botross, 2021, (Doctorate) Theological and Pedagogical Approaches to Equipping Disciple-Makers in Victorian Baptist Churches)