My hunch is nearly everyone you consider to be a part of your church wants to draw closer to God, wants to be purposeful in following Jesus, wants to live a fruitful life. The problem is that many of us are lazy and often just can’t be bothered. How do I know that? Because I realise most people are a bit like me.

It turns out our app developers know what people like me are like! Sol tells me most people want to be told what to do. So we’re trying something new in our Discipleship Cycle app over the next few months – we’re including a daily reading plan. And whilst when using the app, you’ll still be able to decide to read whatever passage from the Bible you wish, we’re going to be providing a suggestion each day, which you’ll see on the Welcome Back! screen.

Our theme for November will be The Kingship of Jesus. Imagine what an impact the whole church across the UK, listening to Jesus and allowing more of his reign and rule over their hearts would make! December will consist of Advent readings. For 2023 I’m preparing ‘walking through the year with Jesus’, based on a harmonisation of the four gospels.

Why am I putting so much energy into this? The simple fact is the UK church is in desperate need of spiritual renewal and the more people are listening to God, the more we will hear his voice speaking into our lives. We listen in order to hear.

We’re not bad at listening, but I’m regularly asking churches to feed back how many people get beyond listening to God, and on a weekly basis actually act on what they hear. The best and most generous responses suggest around 10% of people act on what they hear from God, but the reality may well be closer to 5%.

It’s not just laziness. The fact that as followers of Jesus, we are being distracted by so many other things to not hear the voice of God regularly is the biggest weakness, in my opinion, in the church today. But we can change, we can get into new habits and by God’s grace draw closer to him.

Our Discipleship Cycle is just one way to help us establish and keep a habit of listening, looking, living and learning regularly through the scriptures, and I encourage you to join in and share our seasonal reading plans which begin on Tuesday.

You can find out more about the Discipleship Cycle app here or download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play.

Nigel Coles

Nigel is Regional Team Leader of the West of England Baptist Network. He facilitates the life of the webnet team and oversees the missional strategy for the region. He also works to develop missional strategy over a wider geographical area with our partner Associations and Baptists Together. Nigel believes that when Jesus sent out seventy-two others, he meant everyone who was there, and this passion to help everyone find their way in the mission of God is what inspired the development of Seventy-two.