Overcoming Spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder

No, that disorder does not appear in the official DSM3 (my apologies to my counselor friends). But is an observable condition if you hang around church people too much.

We talk about not having time to be in the Word, but sure are able to quote the words of songs and movies (have you ever noticed how many lyrics are used as Facebook statuses?). Oh, well, that’s another rant for another day.

Every other Friday I lead a Bible study at the local jail. This morning their were seven guys who participated. Six of them were there two weeks ago and the other guy was incarcerated since then. While we were waiting to see if anyone else would join us, one of the guys told me some good news.

He said, “You know that study method you taught us? I’ve been using it and it really helped. I really have trouble reading the Bible and staying on track. It helped me. Thanks.”

To be honest, I had been pondering whether or not it was time for me to discontinue my role in this ministry. Another guy does a study for this same pod on the alternating weeks and he would be pleased to teach the same group every week. “Would that continuity be better for them than what I am doing?” is a question I have been asking myself.

How do you know when your efforts are worthwhile? How do you know when you are being called to make changes?

It encouraged me to hear this unsolicited assessment. I also thought about three friends who work in foreign mission points who have been encouraged to start Discovery Bible Studies in their local jails/prisons because of the testimonies I have given regarding how God has worked here through me.

I always share with these guys how to do a 3-column study. They have much time on their hands. They have a Bible, paper and pen. They can do these studies. God will bless them as they handle his Word. He has promised that when it goes out it will not come back without having an effect. I believe his promises and have seen fruit in numerous lives–as long as they keep hearing God and putting what they hear into practice.

Many of my older posts touch on this same theme, so I won’t bore you with a rehash. But you might want to check out:




One way to assess your work is to determine whether or not it is reproducible. God’s creation celebrates reproduction. Jesus used horticultural metaphors to reveal that God is into the multiplication business. He works in us an through us to produce fruitful practices. But we often get in the way–especially by complicating things.

Now sometimes we are doing the right things, but in the wrong places. If nothing is reproducing then you are either in the wrong place or using the wrong strategies.

I am still assessing this place. How about you? Are you bearing fruit? Are you bearing much fruit? Keep me in your prayers and I pray you will experience the joy of God’s desire to produce an abundant harvest (John 15:8).


  1. It helps me to remember that ‘my efforts’ aren’t mine. Juliane and I pray that our plan to do His will are in line with His plan for us. We are constantly learning what His plan for us is. I hope you realize that He’s using you and your testimonies to spread the Good News! Love ya, John. Thanks for the wisdom.


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